By by Kailey Aiken
The long-anticipated Shack Olympics have been rescheduled for this Monday, July 31. It will still be held at Beach 106th at 6 p.m. and is run by the Parks Commissioner and local lifeguards. A thunderstorm rolled in around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday that kept beaches closed all the way up until 6:00 p.m. Although the storm did clear up, the wind calmed, and the ocean became glassier than it had been all day, the storm had already scared away the crowd, so it was decided that a rain date would make for a better turn out. Fingers crossed that Monday’s forecast holds out for 85° and sunny, and hopefully, the ocean won’t make things difficult for us.
The beach this week has been packed almost every day on Beach 97th Street, and this coming week’s heat wave is sure to have the subways, buses, and ferry full of passengers desperate to escape the sweltering heat of the city to hit the beach. The crowd on a busy day on Beach 97th Street is sometimes so thick that when you look across the beach from the chair, you don’t see sand—only a patchwork of multicolored umbrellas and towels, and a few nutcracker vendors darting through the maze.
On Sunday, the maze of umbrellas and towels resulted in four lost children reported to lifeguards. All of them were returned safely to their families, but we did need to perform a shallow water sweep around 5:15 p.m. after one child was missing for over 30 minutes. When parents come to the lifeguard chair looking for a kid, after half an hour, it’s protocol to clear the water and perform a shallow water sweep to verify the child has not gone under. We swept the closed bay on the downtown side of the Beach 93rd Street jetty, and then the bay that was open for swimming on the uptown side. Manpower arrived from the 86th and 73rd shacks, and we had almost 30 of us out in the water. Luckily, the child was found on the beach as we were in the water, and we were able to return to business as usual. Although clearing the water and performing the shallow water sweep can be tedious, it is always better to be safe than sorry, and it was a huge relief when the child was found safe on land.
This week, softball will be rescheduled for another day due to the Olympics and will be the first round of playoffs. In the last games of the regular season last Monday, 117 defeated Midtown, their first loss of the regular season, and Uptown, once again, lost to Downtown. Check back next week for what shack, or shacks, have come out on top for softball and the Shack Olympics!