NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s finally here!
Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, and many folks are flocking to Tri-State Area beaches and taking advantage of the warmer weather.
“After the rugged winter we had and almost spring, it’s nice to take advantage of it,” Gravesend resident Mark Sarasohn said.
The Bethpage Air Show began Saturday at Jones Beach, with spectators packed together as far as the eye could see.
Kristina Kloete told CBS2’s Dave Carlin her 3-year-old son Mason is obsessed with aviation.
“He loves the planes, so we wanted to come here for our first time to see them all,” she said.
Aircraft were on the ground, too, for tours and photo taking.
In between each adrenaline-filled, high-flying show, there were mellow moments on the beach – people digging toes in the sand or digging in to food hot off a grill.
“I love the beach and I love the summer,” said Lyla Principe, of North Babylon.
“Well, it’s pretty nice,” 7-year-old Damian Marte said.
And of course, American flags were flying to honor the heroic patriots who served, sacrificed and are no longer here.
“For the number of people to come out and show the patriotism for what other people have given is phenomenal,” said Peter Viola, of Wantaugh.
With city beaches officially opening Saturday, experts say it’s important to remember that safety should never take a holiday.
“Top of my list is that supervision is key to prevent drowning,” Dr. Rebekka Levis from Boston Children’s Health Physicians said. “Parents should really not rely on solely the lifeguard, but should also be supervising their children at the pool.”
She said swimmies and floaties don’t take the place of that supervision.
The Friday rescue of young teens in the water off Long Beach is a reminder that even older kids need to be watched.
“All of a sudden we got a call that four people were sucked out by the rocks on Riverside,” Long Beach Police Chief Paul Gillespie said.
The teens had to be rescued from a riptide after officials say they were swimming dangerously close to the rocks.
Even though lifeguards will be out on Saturday, experts say it’s best to not take any chances. On Atlantic coast beaches, rip currents are always a risk. If you’re caught in one, it’s important to not try to fight your way out of it.
“You should teach children to swim parallel to the shore until they get out of the rip current and then towards the shore. And don’t panic! That is key,” Dr. Levis said.
Lifeguards will be on duty between 10 am and 6 pm. Swimming is prohibited outside of that time frame.