Beaches Need Protecting

 Beaches Need Protecting

Dear Editor:

So here we go again with another family or families dealing with a horrible tragedy that should have never happened in our waters! Every single year it happens over and over!

No matter what the circumstances are, it usually comes back to the same situations! The first one being the lack of water safety education for a great majority of the families that come to visit Rockaway, especially when it gets really hot! Show some water safety videos on the ferry! Hand out some literature up in Riis Park parking lot! Come on, it’s not that hard!

Everyone knows that when it gets hot, Rockaway is going to be packed! There is no way that people that don’t live here can know about currents and rip tides. The only reason we do is because we live here and have been around the ocean and everything it throws at us our whole life!

I can still hear my mother saying, “Michael, if it’s rough you can’t go in!!” (A side note, my mom, Rita Balfe is going to be 85 on August 20 and I do still hear her saying that amongst a lot of other things because I needed to hear them! Big time!) How many kids that have drowned wished they heard their mother say that!! I am thinking their mothers didn’t know to say that!
Even knowing that, last year I was pulled out in hip deep water in a rip current and got the biggest scare I have ever had in Rockaway waters! If it hasn’t happened to you, believe when I say it was scary big time!

The second one I believe is a bit more manageable! How about the federal government and the city government (Parks Dept.) have the lifeguards rotate shifts so lifeguards are there until it gets dark?

It’s a short couple of months that the beaches need to be protected! THE BEACHES NEED TO BE PROTECTED! Just imagine this! It’s really hot and the beaches are packed, whether it’s in Riis or in Rockaway, and now it’s 6 o’clock and you are one the lifeguards that leave and the ocean is a bit rough. Half an hour later, tragedy happens and someone or multiple people die? Imagine living with that!!
How about this? Think of it this way. So we all know the FDNY and the NYPD are the two greatest departments in the world and their members get up every day and put on their uniforms to go to work and help people any way they can! If you don’t agree with me, please move somewhere else!

Imagine in the summer months, every day from 6 p.m. until it gets dark, the FDNY and the NYPD say they are not available to respond and help you? What???
That is what the federal government and NYC Parks Dept are saying when there are no lifeguards during those hours!

Let’s make sense!! There are no reasons that the lifeguards cannot be there until dark! Please do not insult all of us and say it’s because of overtime! Everyone knows what is being spent on what! The beaches need to have lifeguards all the time until it gets dark, and everyone goes home! Let’s make sense!! Thank you, Rockaway Times for your platform!

Mike Balfe

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