New York man, 68, celebrates 50 years as a lifeguard

Age is just a number for 68-year-old John McGovern.

He celebrated 50 years as a lifeguard at Tobay Beach in New York.

“It never gets old. It’s just a great group of dedicated young men and older men and women that really take this job seriously,” McGovern said, “and take a lot of pride in working as lifeguards.”

Tobay Beach lifeguards are required to pass a 400-yard swim in the ocean every year. It’s a test that McGovern has yet to fail.

He is a retired physical education teacher, who spends time in Costa Rica with his family, but comes back to New York every summer.

The younger lifeguards call him a role model and say they have nothing but respect for him.

“This would not be the place like it is without leaders like him,” said one of young lifeguards.

McGovern joined in 1967, and has no plans to retire just yet.

“I know the day I walk away, I’m going to miss this place a lot more than this place is going to miss me,” he said. “It’s a special, special bond we have working together.”