2007-09-07 / Community

Lifeguard High Jinks Take Hold At Season's End

By Miriam Rosenberg

A beachgoer watches as lifeguards uproot a lifeguard chair near Beach 19 Street. A beachgoer watches as lifeguards uproot a lifeguard chair near Beach 19 Street. Beachgoers on Beach 17 to Beach 19 Streets had an unusual ending to their Labor Day when they saw lifeguards upending lifeguard chairs and rolling them into the Atlantic Ocean to use as diving boards.

A woman, who was unnerved by what she was seeing, told The Wave that when she asked the lifeguards what they were doing, they replied, "It's end of the season, Parks will clean it up tomorrow."

The lifeguards appeared to pay little if any attention to bathers who remained in the water past 6 p.m., the official end of the season.

Abigail Lootens, a spokesperson for the Parks and Recreation Department, commented on the unusual behavior.

"Lifeguards traditionally upend the lifeguard chairs on the last day to signal that the beach is closed for swimming and to make it easier for the maintenance staff to remove them from the beach," Lootens said in an email. "They, however, should not have put them in the water or used them as diving platforms. We will speak with the section supervisor about the incident and make sure it doesn't happen in the future."

Three lifeguards left this chair from Beach 17 Street in the ocean after they were finished with it. Three lifeguards left this chair from Beach 17 Street in the ocean after they were finished with it. After rolling this lifeguard chair into the ocean, shortly before 6 p.m. -  the official end to the beach season -  one lifeguard prepares to dive into the water. After rolling this lifeguard chair into the ocean, shortly before 6 p.m. - the official end to the beach season - one lifeguard prepares to dive into the water. Lifeguards push the uprooted chair into the water near Beach 19 Street. Lifeguards push the uprooted chair into the water near Beach 19 Street.

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