Photo: Mariela Lombard / The NY Journal
As is tradition, the public beaches of New York open this long weekend of “Memorial Day” the summer 2022 season. This year the novelty points to a national shortage of lifeguards, to which not even the most populous city in the country escapes.
NYC’s 53 outdoor public pools will kick off the summer season a month later on Tuesday, June 28. As for beaches, the eight that are owned by the city, located in four of the five districts, have 14 miles of coastline. Are: Orchard (The Bronx); Manhattan Beach, Coney Island, Brighton (Brooklyn); Rockaway, the only one in the city open to surfing (Queens); and Midland, South Beach Cedar Grove and Wolfe’s Pond (Staten Island).
In Rockaway Beach, one of the busiest in Queens, several segments will be closed at least until July 15, due to the construction of a new boardwalk, in an effort to safeguard that coastal area from future storms.
An estimated one-third of pools and beaches in the US may not open due to lifeguard shortages this summer, and “New York City is entering the same uncharted waters for the hot weather season,” he summarized. New York Post.
“Just like the whole country, it has been a challenge recruiting enough qualified people who can pass the NYC Lifeguard requirementsand the impacts of the pandemic on recruitment continue,” admitted the spokeswoman for NYC Parks, Crystal Howard. And she added “at this time we plan to have all the pools open.”
The national shortage could prevent the opening of approximately one third of the 309,000 community pools across the country, according to the American Lifesaving Association (ALA).
A source familiar with the situation confirmed to the Post what NYC, as in recent years, is seeing fewer and fewer lifeguards taking care of bathers. The city estimates it will have a clearer count of first responder numbers by the Fourth of July weekend, when training is complete.
Lifeguards will be on duty at all eight NYC beaches every day from 10 am to 6 pm until Sunday, September 11. The Department of Parks reminds that outside of those hours swimming is “unsafe and strictly prohibited.” In fact, officers can issue citations to people who enter the sea outside of lifeguard hours.
They also remember that almost every year there are people who die by drowning on the city’s beaches, especially young people and especially in Rockaway Beach and Coney Islandwhere dangerous rip currents can be unpredictable.
The location and access regulations for the public pools that will open in June in the five boroughs can be reviewed here. Usually they will operate daily from 11 am to 7 pm, with a closing for cleaning from 3 to 4 pm In addition, as always, they will offer free swimming lessons
Now a recreational option that has returned this summer is Governors Island, boarding a ferry in Lower Manhattan or Brooklyn, with free access for people over 65, children under 12, active and retired military, any inhabitant of public housing buildings (NYCHA) and who has an IDNYC card. No one will be charged on Saturdays and Sundays before noon either.
It is an uninhabited island of 86 hectares between Brooklyn and Manhattan. Today it is mostly used as a park, after serving for more than two centuries (1776 to 1996) as a prison and base for the US Army and the Coast Guard.