by Kailey Aiken
The month of August has begun to drift by like a long, lazy Sunday after a hectic summer week. Rainy days, cloudy days, and calmer waters this week have given even the busiest beaches a bit of a break. After weeks of mostly sunny and packed days, sitting in the rain all bundled up in parkas, sweats, and raincoats isn’t so bad. It’s almost like the equivalent of spending a rainy Sunday curled up in bed to reset after the week, except it’s not quite as comfortable.
Following the shark attack on Beach 59th Street last Monday, closing the water due to shark sightings has become more prominent in the past week. Last Tuesday, the water was closed for the entire day, Wednesday it was closed again for part of the day, and Friday it was closed for only about an hour and a half. While keeping people out of the water on shark days was once a nearly impossible task, most people are now happy to stay far away from the ocean once they realize why we’re calling them out. The additions of shark patrolling boats and drones have also helped give us a more accurate estimate of when ocean closures are necessary when sharks are close to shore, posing a potential danger to swimmers, surfers, and bathers. Of course, there is no way to have the entirety of Rockaway patrolled at the same time, but it’s the best option right now to attempt to keep people safe and also allow the sharks to live freely in their home.
After a postponed game last week, Midtown took the win in the 2023 softball championship against Downtown for the second year in a row this past Monday. This means that 73 Shack has both the softball chip and Shack Olympics chip under their belt this summer. Hopefully next summer, the other shacks come out a little bit stronger. It’s been a fun summer of friendly shack competition and I’m already excited to see what next year will bring.
Unfortunately, this will be the last “Day in the Lifeguard” of the season, as I do have to go back to college next week. It’s been a summer of countless crazy cases (rescues), adjusting to the beaches post-rock jetties, ongoing construction, beautiful beach days, terrible beach days, and everything in between. Thanks to everyone who’s read any or all of the columns, it’s been a pleasure to share these stories. Until next summer!