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A Proposal That One Day Could Save A Life

It seems every summer in this area there are a few tragic cases of people drowning when swimming after the lifeguards have gone home.   I have a modest and inexpensive suggestion that might prevent this from ever reoccurring here in Belmar.

Suppose we designate one beach for free twilight swimming and provide two lifeguards at that beach until 8:00.  We could use whichever beach seems to be the most visited in the evenings now, or maybe pick a beach about halfway along Ocean Ave.  When the other beaches close at 5:00 we could put up signs (in English and Spanish) at their entrances directing people to go to the guarded beach if they want to swim safely and at no cost. 

This could be paid for by having 14 of our lifeguards start work an hour late 3 days a week or a 1/2 hour late 6 days a week, and then work 3 extra hours one night each week.  This way we could have 2 guards at one beach from 5:00 to 8:00 every night without increasing the payroll.  And if they kept a couple of Kawasakis nearby, already loaded with equipment,  they could quickly get to another beach if they needed to.

Drowning is a terrible way to die and the grief for the victims’ families must be unimaginable.  The nighttime search and rescue/recovery efforts are dangerous for the participants and expensive for the taxpayers.   Maybe we can prevent such a horrible occurance from ever happening in Belmar again.

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