2008-06-27 / Letters

Queens Civic Congress Seek Lifeguards

Dear Editor:

The following is a letter to Commissioner Benepe:

Queens Civic Congress, an umbrella organization comprised of over 110 civic, condo, co-op, tenant and other associations throughout the borough of Queens, including the Property Owners Associations in Belle Harbor and Neponsit, as well as the Bayswater Civic Association, and the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance expected both the assignment and deployment of a full contingent of well-qualified lifeguards to provide adequate and safe coverage of Rockaway's 14-mile stretch of shoreline each day from Memorial Day through Labor Day of this year. That need remains unmet nearly one month into the season.

Despite commitments and assurances to the contrary, the facts on the ground indicate more than a few beaches continue to receive inadequate coverage. Since Memorial Day, beachgoers found red flags flying, indicating "No Swimming Allowed" along the too many stretches of Rockaway shoreline. This intolerable situation must change.

Queens Civic Congress, in statements, letters and testimonies, urges that:

The NYC Department of Parks and Recreation create the safest possible swimming conditions along the City of New York's shoreline where confident, well-trained and competent lifeguards protect the tens of thousands of swimmers who have a right to expect optimum safety measures be in effect along Rockaway's coastline each day (from Memorial Day through Labor Day).

The lack of deployments also make clear the need for a Queens-based training and testing facility to best ensure a full compliment of lifeguard candidates each year.

Please advice when the public can expect all of our beaches to be fully and completely open.

Thank you.


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