Community News

Clavin, Council Members & Lifeguards Help Beachgoers Learn How to ‘Beat the Grip of the Rip’

As residents are eager to “beat the heat” by going for a swim at one of the many pristine beaches the Town of Hempstead has to offer, Supervisor Clavin and Council Members teamed with the Lifeguard squad at Town Park Point Lookout to remind residents on how to “beat the grip of the rip,” as they kicked off the Riptide Awareness Program in the midst of hurricane season.

Supervisor Don Clavin was joined by Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilmen Bruce Blakeman, Anthony D’Esposito, Dennis Dunne, Sr., Tom Muscarella, Chris Carini, Town Clerk Kate Murray and Receiver of Taxes Jeanine Driscoll and the town’s prestigious lifeguard team to conduct a demonstration on proper ocean rescue in the wake of a potentially deadly riptide.

“Earlier this month, as Tropical Storm Elsa made its way up the coast, the National Weather Service issues multiple rip current advisories, and there will certainly be more as we continue on during hurricane season,” Clavin said. “But riptides can occur at a moment’s notice, when you least suspect it. While we have our outstanding lifeguard team here to protect you in the ocean, we need all beachgoers to also be vigilant and take these important riptide safety tips seriously. It could save a life.”

Town of Hempstead lifeguards undergo extensive training and have earned several national awards from the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA). All lifeguard personnel are CPR and First Aid certified, which contributes to the town’s outstanding history of zero drownings at town beaches and pools while lifeguards are on patrol.

“We’re proud of our award-winning lifeguard team for their efforts in protecting people at our pools and beaches, and thank them for teaming with us to provide this important information to the public,” Goosby said.

“Our lifeguards are truly top-notch and ready to rescue at a moment’s notice, but we need residents and visitors to be mindful of important safety tips before going into the ocean at one of our beaches,” Blakeman added.  “While recent weather warnings have alerted the public of the potential of dangerous rip tides, the threat is always there and we are here to remind beachgoers how to beat the grip of the rip,” D’Esposito said.

All lifeguards as well as the Town EMS workforce are fully prepared for any life-threatening dangers while on duty, Supervisor Clavin stressed to beachgoers the importance of staying proactive and alert when visiting Town beaches while lifeguard personnel is not present. Parks and Recreation personnel will hand out Riptide Safety brochures at the beaches, which will be readily available for all residents at beach entry booths.

The Hempstead Town Riptide Awareness brochure holds several safety tips including:

  • Remain calm and do not exert too much energy; energy levels are vital in these situations.
  • Never fight against the current.
  • Swim out of the current in the direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim at an angle towards the shore and away from the current.
  • If you cannot escape of the current, float or tread water.
  • Never swim alone or outside designated swim areas.

“At this time, I’d like to thank and acknowledge our elite Town lifeguard squad for making thousands of rescues a year,” Dunne said.

“Our lifeguard squad doing a tremendous job in keeping our residents safe and our Town EMS team is also at the ready for any situations posed with danger,” Muscarella added.

“We want all of residents to be safe and enjoy the summer season, and we urge them to be prepared when they go to the beach,” Carini said.

Copies of the Town of Hempstead Riptide Safety Brochure will be available at Town beach entry toll booths as well as the town website. Visit www.hempsteadny.gov for more details and information.

“We urge residents to read this brochure to become fully aware on the dangers of riptides before entering the water,” Supervisor Clavin concluded. “We wish everyone a safe and fun summer while the Town of Hempstead continues to work on various initiatives that prioritize safeguarding our residents.”

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