Dec. 28 (UPI) -- A Florida state park is seeking some new employees with a highly specialized set of skills -- that is, mermaid skills.
The park said it is seeking performers who can portray convincing mermaids underwater -- and officials cautioned that its harder than it sounds.
"It's not easy what they do, and a lot of girls find that out [during the audition]," park public relations manager John Athanason told the Tampa Bay Times.
Those auditioning will be required to complete a timed, 300-yard endurance swim that features laps both with and against the current. The aspiring mermaids must then tread water for 10 to 15 minutes.
Athanason said it's important for the mermaids to be stronger than average swimmers.
"It's an inherently dangerous job, and you need to be able to not only save yourself, but save a colleague," Athanason said.
He said the second portion of the audition will call on the prospective performers to do ballet-like moves underwater while officials work to determine whether they seem "comfortable" or "panicky" under water.
"It's all about how comfortable they are," Athanason said. "We encourage everyone, from every background."
He said those who pass that portion of the audition will then be subject to a more traditional question-and-answer job interview.
Those seeking a mermaid position, which starts at $10 an hour, are required to complete a state employment application and email WeekiHR@gmail.com by Jan. 11 to reserve an audition spot.