2002-07-27 / Letters

Surfers Help, Not Harm

Surfers Help, Not Harm

Dear Editor;

Thank you for your front page story about the situation with surfers getting tickets for surfing after 6 p.m. Surfers are the first defense between someone drowning or not. We are already in the water, know our way around the ocean, and have flotation devices (our boards). I don't know how many times a serious situation has been avoided because of a surfer knowing what is going on around him. You don't really hear about these "rescues", but they do occur. We are blessed here in Rockaway to have great lifeguards, just like we are blessed to have the best police and firefighters in the country, but they can't be everywhere, all of the time.

No matter how many tickets the police write, and how many warnings are giving to swimmers, somebody will always come down for the first time, not be aware of the law, and jump in the ocean to cool off. If they are not familiar with Rockaway's strong undertow, what they thought was going to be a nice refreshing swim, can turn into a serious situation. I believe surfers being allowed to surf after 6 p.m.  creates a great civilian water patrol, working hand and hand with the city, instead of against each other. THAT is the Rockaway way.


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