2004-07-02 / Community

Parks: No ‘Critical’ Lifeguard Shortage

By Howard Schwach

Parks: No ‘Critical’ Lifeguard Shortage

By Howard Schwach

"There is no critical lifeguard shortage in Rockaway," Parks Department spokesperson Margaret Johnson angrily told The Wave on Thursday morning in response to a story the paper did last week citing statistics from City Councilman Joseph Addabbo that only 300 of 1,200 lifeguards were on duty on Rockaway beaches in the weeks prior to July 3.

‘You’re information is incorrect," Johnson said. "There are 1,000 lifeguards working, not 300."

"We have no shortage," she said.

When asked why so many Rockaway beaches were closed in recent weeks due to a lack of lifeguards, Johnson said, "I’m not going to discuss that with you now. I just want you to correct the mistake you made in the last issue."

With deadline quickly approaching, The Wave asked Johnson to comment on the problems many local residents have been having with Parks Enforcement Police over beach rules.

""I an not prepared to comment on that now," Johnson said. "All I can do is find out what beaches in Rockaway will be closed on the July 4 weekend and get back to you."

With that, the conversation was terminated.

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