2008-08-01 / Letters

Have You Thanked A Lifeguard?

Dear Editor,

I wholeheartedly agree with Serg Cusmiani. We should all thank a lifeguard whenever they do a good job. The lifeguards mentioned in the Friday, July 25, 2008 edition did an outstanding job. We should also let them know along with their lieutenants when they are not doing a good job. When you see a lifeguard hanging around the chair after the lieutenant has checked in with them, checking their cell phones for text messages instead of patrolling the shore let them know about it. Lieutenants, patrol the beach a lot more often like you used to. Let Mayor Bloomberg and the Parks Department know that positioning lifeguards a block and a half apart is unacceptable. The lifeguards struggle via whistles on a semi-windy day to send messages to each other because of the distance. The results of this could be a disaster. One weekend earlier this month Beach 130 street had absolutely no back up to their east (toward Beach 129 Street) because two beaches were red flagged, closed) so the lifeguards on Beach 130 Street had to rely on the chair to their west on a windy day. I have watched the Parks Security personnel with some amusement, which unfortunately could quickly turn deadly. They have no business patrolling the beach when there is no lifeguard on duty. I observed a Parks Department employee set up for the day, spend one hour, not leaving her position under an umbrella get picked up by another Parks Department employee in his vehicle, disappear for two hours only to return for another half an hour and get picked up by the same person and not return. She must have had a lot of paperwork to do. Rockaway residents, I'm sure you all have your own horror stories to tell when it comes to spending a day on the beach, however, we are talking about our children's safety and lives. The Rockaway lifeguards do an outstanding job with the conditions they are given. By all means tell a lifeguard and a lieutenant and the Parks department security when they are doing a good job, but let them known when they are not.

JAMES O'CONNOR

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