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Surveillance is key to the lifesaving capability of lifeguards. Experienced personnel consistently display enhanced hazard detection capabilities compared to less experienced counterparts. However, the mechanisms which underpin this effect and the time it takes to develop these skills are not understood. We hypothesized that, after one season of experience, the number of hazards detected by, and eye movements of, less experienced lifeguards (LEL) would more closely approximate experienced lifeguards (EL). The LEL watched ‘beach scene’ videos at the beginning and end of their first season. The number of hazards detected and eye-movement data were collected and compared to the EL group. The LEL perceived fewer hazards than EL and did not increase over the season. There was no difference in eye-movements between groups. Findings suggest one season is not enough for lifeguards to develop enhanced hazard detection skills and skill level differences are not underpinned by differences in gaze behavior.
Smith, Jennifer; Long, Geoff; Dawes, Peter; Runswick, Oliver; and Tipton, Michael J.
"Changes in Lifeguards’ Hazard Detection and Eye Movements with Experience: Is One Season Enough?,"
International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education: Vol. 13:
1, Article 6.
Available at: https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/ijare/vol13/iss1/6