Sunday’s Beach Bedlam

 Sunday’s Beach Bedlam

By by Kailey Aiken

As expected, the holiday weekend brought massive of crowds and busy beach days. Last Sunday, however, was a little bit more craziness than most of us are used to.

It started out as a cloudy, still busy, but easy day on Beach 97th. There were a couple cases but nothing out of the ordinary. Just after 5 p.m., five struggling swimmers were spotted on the closed beach side of the Beach 93rd Street jetty. The chief of 97 Shack, along with the firemen of the Robotics Unit operating the drone, caught the case first. Lifeguards followed and entered the water on the closed beach side of the jetty. Two victims were able to climb onto the rocks and reach safety. Three were clinging to the edge of the rocks, being pummeled by waves as they tried to do the same.

It is a dangerous situation to be in the water that close to the jetties, which are covered in sharp oysters, slippery algae, and obviously are not fun to be slammed into. It is also easy for our buoy ropes to be caught between the rocks if we get too close and can get us stuck.

Two lifeguards were able to climb onto the rocks to assist victims. One victim was taken up to safety, but the other two were stuck. One woman had her legs wedged into the crevices of the rocks and was unable to move, and the man with her could not get up any further on the rocks. The rest of us swam around the jetty to help from the top of the rocks, since there was no more we could do in the water.

Lifeguards from 86 Shack and 32 Shack arrived to help as well. The woman was removed from the rocks and backboarded, as was the man with her. As the two victims were being backboarded, a struggling surfer was spotted near the rocks, and lifeguards once again went in on the closed beach to assist her. She was brought around the rocks and to safety.

Once the victims were loaded onto the backboards, we meticulously carried them across the rock jetty, which was no easy task. It’s not even easy to walk across that jetty smoothly by yourself, never mind while carrying a person on a backboard with you.

The two victims were placed in the EMS gators and then transferred to ambulances and brought to local hospitals. They are both alive and had only minor injuries.

Just as we thought the chaos was over, a missing child was reported on Beach 95th Street. In a state of panic, the mother of the child fainted and fell to the ground, and another relative fell with her. The oxygen was run over from Beach 93rd Street and was used briefly in an attempt to calm down the mother, who fainted multiple times.

Although the water was closed during the time the girl went missing, a submersion was called, and lifeguards formed a dive line and a sweep line to scan the water for the missing five-year-old girl to be on the safe side. NYPD and FDNY aided in the search with helicopters, boats, and rescue divers. After about thirty minutes of searching the water, the girl was found on Beach 106th Street by lifeguards, walking by the shoreline and dragging her boogie board behind her. Lifeguards and NYPD walked down to retrieve her and reunite her with her family back on Beach 96th Street.

It was a stressful and chaotic hour and a half for all involved on Sunday, but it is a relief that all of the victims are alive and well.

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