2002-12-07 / Community

Smith Clarifies Beach Use Rules

Smith Clarifies Beach Use Rules

State Senator Malcolm A. Smith noted that the New York City Urban Parks Service has responded to his concerns regarding the use of beaches at the Rockaways.

"There is no question that the people of the Rockaways love to use the beaches before and after the summer season. However, the Parks Service cannot allow swimming when lifeguards are not on duty," Senator Smith said.

The Queens lawmaker said that Service Chief Alexander Brash wrote that the Service is "Constrained from providing any exceptions to our consistent policy of allowing swimming during the hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. between Memorial Day and Labor Day, until we can develop an alternative policy which does not open the City to substantial liability risks."

Senator Smith added that the Service said, "the overwhelming percentage of beach drownings occur when or where our lifeguards are not on duty," and the State Sanitary Code prohibits swimming in parks where there are no lifeguards.

"We have all enjoyed the beaches at the Rockaways, many of us for as long as we remember. But is for the safety of everyone that these rules exist. I hope that we can all follow them," Senator Smith concluded.

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