2009-07-31 / Front Page

Intensive Search For Missing Surfer


Police officers with strong binoculars search the oceanfront at Beach 90 Street on Tuesday afternoon, looking for a surfer who was reported in deep water and heading for the jetty at about 5 p.m. A police department helicopter works further out searching in vain for the reported missing surfer. It later turned out that the man had come out of the water on his own further west and was not in danger. For more photos of the emergency response, see page 67. Photo by Howard Schwach. Police officers with strong binoculars search the oceanfront at Beach 90 Street on Tuesday afternoon, looking for a surfer who was reported in deep water and heading for the jetty at about 5 p.m. A police department helicopter works further out searching in vain for the reported missing surfer. It later turned out that the man had come out of the water on his own further west and was not in danger. For more photos of the emergency response, see page 67. Photo by Howard Schwach.

Return to top

In the west when a riptide is present, it is not a "once in a while" event. It is a constant. I was surprised to find beaches open, and anyone willing to be a lifeguard under the current circumstances.
The beaches of Rockaway have been allowed to be washed away over the decades. Would putting up breakers, end or significantly reduce this problem? Are swimming lessons available through the park district at no cost to residents? I saw no instructions of where or when or what to do if caught in a riptide anywhere on the board walk near the concessions, nor any warnings of how many have drowned each season.

By the way, it looks to me like the lifeguard in the NY POST photo IS LOOKING DIRECTLY AT THE WATER, WHICH IS EMPTY OF SWIMMERS DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER. THOSE LOOK LIKE AIRPORT WORKER HEADPHONES, NOT IPOD HEADPHONES. And the lifguard uniform is an orange tee shirt and rain jacket not a collared shirt and white cap under a rain jacket.
Mysterious photo they have there.

The letter below was sent to the NY POST Regarding the photo and story of a lifeguard with headphones on beach 108th St at 10:08am the next day after a drowning:
Nice setup of a lifeguard shot. Not only do I live on the beach in Rockaway, but am the mother and aunt of several lifeguards, none of which wear headphones like this photo shows. However, how about showing the rest of the beach in the photo as well as the weather forcast for that day. It was thunderstorms all day long and there were NO beachgoers in the water because there were no beachgoers on the beach at 10:08am due to the terrible forecast.
The day before someone did drown, yes, that is terrible. However, how about telling the fact of how many saves were made that day? My son came home with his neck and shoulder muscles in spasm from pulling DOZENS OF SWIMMERS OUT OF RIPTIDES THAT DAY. They kept going back in the water over and over after lifeguards told them to stay out of certain areas where the riptides were. One guy actually went from chair to chair complaining that he couldn't swim in a riptide area because the lifeguards were BEING MEAN TO HIM.
Honestly, I have to say that either this kid is a one of a kind idiot who will be punished or the photo was set up.
The lifeguards I know in Rockaway are all dedicated to saving lives. They sit in all kinds of inclement weather, walk hours in the hot sun with the glare of the water and sand in their faces. They pick out children when their parents fail to look after them properly.
Nice way to say thank you for all the saves the day before and for only losing one life out of hundreds of saves.
Way to show one side of a story NY POST.
sign me,
Disgusted with the Media
8/3/2009 12:00 PM EDT

I too am in agreement with Maureen Ritter, I live on Beach 107 street and I am well aware of the alertness of the lifeguards on that beach and ajoining beaches. I can't believe that the picture that was taken by the NY POST photographer did not depict the entire picture of the beach and the inclement weather on that day. I for one disagree with the report identifying the inattendiveness of this lifeguard. I frequent the beach daily and even though an avid swimmer and boogie-boarder, I get repremanded by these lifeguards when I put myself in harms way. They are dedicated and for once - well staffed! I trust their knowledge of the oceans waves and currents and when they ask me to come out, I obey! Some people should not be in the water at all, they are not at a city pool, where they belong. If they don't know how to swim, perhaps they should take a course in swimming and listen to the professionals that protect our beaches on a daily basis. Michael Foley


Email Us
Contact Us

Copyright 1999 - 2014 Wave Publishing Co. All Rights Reserved

Neighborhoods | History

 

 

Check Out News Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Riding the Wave with Mark Healey on BlogTalkRadio