NYC public beaches officially open for swimming for Memorial Day weekend

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Saturday, May 25, 2024
NYC beaches officially open for swimming on Memorial Day Weekend
Janice Yu has more on New York City beaches officially opening for swimming.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- It's the unofficial kickoff to summer this weekend as New York beaches officially reopen for the season.

New York City's eight public beaches opened for swimming as of 10 a.m. on Saturday. Lifeguards will be on duty from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through September 8.

Even though every city beach will be open, some sections of each beach will be closed, partially because of lifeguard staffing shortages.

Officials are expecting to have more lifeguards this year than it did last year, as the city eases hiring requirements to help address the shortage.

"Since the pandemic, it's been a enormous challenge throughout the country to hire lifeguards, and New York City has been no exception. At parks, we've been working hard to rebuild our lifeguard ranks and have implemented new policies to bring on as many lifeguards as we possibly can," NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue said.

Officials say they expect to have 900 lifeguards on staff by the end of June, but around 1,500 hundred are needed to fully staff beaches and pools.

The city's outdoor pools are expected to open on June 27.

Meanwhile, the summer season also brings concern over shark sightings back.

Erielle Reshef has more.

Governor Kathy Hochul said the state will be adding more drones to its fleet to monitor shark activity at state beaches.

Last year there were seven shark-related incidents at our beaches.

The drones will also be able to drop flotation devices in the water to help aid swimmers in distress.

Anthony Johnson reports from Asbury Park, where Gov. Murphy stopped by.

On a lighter note, new for this season at Coney Island's Luna Park: the first-ever electric-powered go-karts in the city. They zip around a new track, almost silently.

Lauren Glassberg has more from Coney Island.

"This is the best place to be in Brooklyn as far as I'm concerned, I remember coming here as a kid coming to Coney Island and it was great, and it still is," John Rodriguez said.

He says he rides up and down the boardwalk taking in the view of the surf and the sand.

In the Garden State, Governor Phil Murphy visited Asbury Park to celebrate the start of the summer.

He highlighted the state's "Boardwalk Preservation Fund."

Eighteen communities were granted a total of $100 million to preserve and repair boardwalks on the Jersey Shore.

Asbury Park received $20 million.

READ MORE: Travelers in New York and New Jersey take to the roads and sky for Memorial Day Weekend

Lindsay Tuchman reports on Memorial Day Weekend travel.