By: Taniesa L. Sullivan
Leesburg, Ala. – A large number of waterpark employees at Pirate’s Bay Waterpark in Leesburg walked out Monday morning on strike causing the park to be closed until further notice after the waterparks manager, Shane Jenkins, who was abruptly let go after asking the new general managers, Guy and Tabatha Hollaway, for safety equipment for the park and employees.
A lifeguard from Pirate’s Bay Waterpark told The Weekly Ledger, “This year, with the new management, everything has just went downhill, bad. As soon as we opened, we only had three certified lifeguards which is what was needed to stay open with but that was causing us lifeguards to work our butts off every day and we were having to pull doubles just to make that happen. Then, yesterday, we all got a text from Shane, the waterpark manger, that it was going to be his last day. I ask him what had happened, and Shane said he had gone to Guy, one of the new general managers, asking for safety equipment because safety conditions at the park was not going well. Shane asked the new general managers for staff t-shirts for park attendees to know who staff is, more walkie talkies, so every park employee can have one to communicate and whistles, along with card readers for the park. After their conversation Shane had been fired, we were told".
The same lifeguard also told The Weekly Ledger, “This past weekend, due to not having enough walkie talkies, there was a child that got lost and it took quite a while to find its parents, unlike previous years. Not just that, this past Saturday we had around 1,800 to 2,000 people in the facility with only four certified lifeguards and the rest were just slide attendants.”
The aquatics best practices state that in swimmer supervision ratios of lifeguards to swimmers a minimum of one lifeguard must be on deck for every 25 swimmers. It seems Pirate’s Bay is not adhering to the aquatic best practices for lifeguard safety when they are allowing 1,800 to 2,000 people in their facility with only four certified lifeguards.
Another employee from Pirate’s Bay Waterpark reached out to The Weekly Ledger, the employee said, “The park employees had a meeting Monday morning with the new general managers, Tabatha and Guy Hollaway, to speak about getting Shane Jenkins, the previous waterpark manger, back and getting some safety issues resolved. All the new general managers would say is that HR is handling those issues. So, after that all happened, all employees except for maybe two walked out on strike until Pirate’s Bay is willing to bring Shane back.”
The same park employee also told The Weekly Ledger, “The employees that have gone on strike have been reaching out to The Jenkins Organization, Inc. heads to petition to get Shane his job back.”
The Jenkins Organization, Inc. (TJO) acquired Chesnut Bay RV Resort and Campground, Chesnut Bay Resort, and Pirate’s Bay Water Park in Leesburg on March 28, 2021. This acquisition marks TJO’s twelfth RV resort since beginning the Great Escapes RV Resorts brand in 2019.
The campground was renamed to Great Escapes RV Resort Chesnut Bay while the rental homes will remain Chesnut Bay Resort. The TJO firm currently has an ownership portfolio of over 30 properties, with a market value more than $500 million.
The Weekly Ledger reached out to the management at Pirate’s Bay Waterpark, and they stated “Several teammates abandoned their positions at the waterpark this morning and left us without enough staff to run the waterpark. We are going to open as soon as we have enough staff. We are dedicated to being a great neighbor and a fun place for the community to cool off.”
We will continue to bring you more information as it is forthcoming.