2004-07-09 / 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, July 1, in response to a story the paper did in the prior week’s edition citing statistics from 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, demanding to know where we got the erroneous information despite the fact that the story said that the source was Addabbo. "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 told the Wave editor. With that, the conversation was rapidly terminated.

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