LONG BEACH, NY(WCBS 880) – Long Beach city officials are launching a new campaign to teach kids about swimming safety.
The city plans to distribute a public service announcement to schools about the dangers of swimming without a lifeguard on duty.
Officials say every year, teens come to the beach before it officially opens for the summer season and without lifeguards to keep watch, a beach outing could turn deadly.
Last year, city officials say a 12-year-old girl from New York City drowned during an off-season class trip to Long Beach.
That’s why the city decided to make the short film to show the dangers of swimming without lifeguards.
Long Beach city manager Charles Theofan said the film is about nine minutes long and shows an example of children going to the beach, one being lost in the surf.
“We thought the shock value would just plant in the minds of those young people, if lifeguards are not on duty, do not swim,” said Theofan.
Theofan said that about 80 percent of the people who have drowned after hours and during the pre-season are from the New York City public school system and said he thought the film could possibly prevent some of those deaths.
But Theofan said the New York City Department of Education told him they have no present plans to use the video.
Nassau County executive Ed Mangano and the PSA’s filmmakers will be joining Theofan for Wednesday’s official announcement of the campaign.
To view a copy of the City of Long Beach PSA visit, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T462JiNvckg