A Facebook photo showed the young men sitting side by side and staring down at their cellphones while on duty.
MONTREAL - Two City of Montreal lifeguards were fired this week for watching their phones instead of swimmers.
A Facebook photo showed the lifeguards sitting side by side and staring down at their cellphones while on duty.
A swimmer snapped the photo of the inattentive workers on an island in the city's west end on Sunday.
The city launched an internal investigation and the two men were fired.
The incident comes during a record year for drownings in Quebec.
There have been 45 drownings in pools and waterways in the province since January.
"The city ... takes this situation seriously," said city spokeswoman Valerie De Gagne, who called the lifeguards' actions "unacceptable."
"All measures are taken to ensure the rules are respected and swimmers are safe."
The Lifesaving Society said lifeguards should never use cellphones on the job unless it's to call 911.
"The few seconds that you look at your cell can make all the difference," says director Raynald Hawkins.