So I understand that the season is in full swing. Thus far, Spring has welcomed a whole host of “incidents” that will continue to hinder our ability to increase access for all non-motorized water sports.
1- I understand that a few Windsurfers were warned that they were not allowed to windsurf from Robert Moses Beach X. Fortunately; they were warned after their session was over, as they were leaving the water. They were able to “play dumb”, and no incident was recorded.
2- Several Surfers had their trucks ticketed, and/or their permits pulled at Democrat.
Note: it is against the NYS Park rules to even carry a surfboard in your vehicle at Democrat.
3- At the April Surfrider meeting we heard from a man who had his ankle cut by a fallen Kiteboarders lines while he was in the line up at Gilgo.
4- Surfers were blamed for cutting across and damaging the dunes at the Gilgo 4X4 beach entrance.
5- A number of Kiteboarders were ejected at Zacks Bay in Jones Beach for attempting to launch their gear. A minor altercation with a Park Employee resulted in the Police being called in.
6- At Heckscher, two inexperienced windsurfers were rescued by a good Samaritan windsurfer. The two novices attempted to sail in an off shore wind, wearing nothing but a T-shirt and shorts. [I’m still wearing a 5/3 steamer!]. Both of the rescued were treated for hypothermia. One was taken away in an ambulance.
It only takes a second to make a bad impression. On the other hand, it takes decades of hard work to make a good one. Let’s self police our own ranks, before the authorities do it for us.
I was disappointed by the lack of attendance at the Jones Beach rally two weeks ago. We had a chance to show our support for the Lifeguards of the LI State Parks System. We had a chance to make our voices heard about the closing of beaches and reduction of access this summer. We had a chance to meet, talk with, and shake hands with the State Representatives that would be our champions, in the quest for beach access.
Thank you to everyone who came out. Your support is so important. It will go a long way in building the bridges we need to gain our objectives.