2001-07-14 / Letters

More Lifeguards Are Needed

More Lifeguards Are Needed

Dear Editor,

Why are our beaches not fully staffed with lifeguards? For the past five years we have been told that there are not enough trained lifeguards to cover all the Rockaway beaches. Each year Commissioner Stern gives us the line that after July 4 all our beaches will be open.

We have been on the phone with First Deputy Commissioner Alan Moss’ office. Jason Stanevich, Assistant to Commissioner Moss, who coordinates lifeguards for the city of New York, stated to us that they will not put newly trained lifeguards onto Rockaway beaches. He stated they need a minimum of two years experience. All new lifeguards are sent to city pools.

We questioned Jason on the training facilities for lifeguards. We find it unacceptable that Rockaway residents are sent to Astoria instead of using Far Rockaway H.S. pool as they had done in the past. Jason said they will look into this for the future.

In the past few weeks we have been demanding that all our beaches west of Beach 73 street be fully manned by lifeguards. On Tuesday afternoon we got a commitment that Beach 75 street to Beach 149 street would be open on weekends and Beach 84 street to Beach 149 street would be open every day.

We asked him why there was such a big gap from Beach 74 to Beach 84 streets without lifeguards. This is an area of high density high rises where people are prevented from enjoying their beautiful beaches. This golden jewel of the east coast serves not only Rockaway residents but also people from other parts of the city, state and nation. To deny anyone public access to a free beach is ludicrous. Shame on Henry Stern. Thank God this is your last year.

You will have my full commitment that I will continue to fight for all our beaches to be open and staffed by lifeguards. To voice your complaints call Commissioner Alan Moss at (212) 360-1307. If you care like I do pick up the phone and give them hell.

LEW SIMON


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