Source: Kate M. Browning
Pictured left to right – (Front Row: Patrick Scribner, Ben Bertuch, Brian Kelly, Blayne Jackolski, Donato Geraci, James Zeidler and Gregory Valencia. Back Row: Mariusz Borkowski, Garrett Thibideau, Erik Gorman, Nicole Lo Meli, Legislator Jay Schneiderman, Legislator Kate Browning, Tim Delaney, Legislator Rob Calarco, Brandon Clark, Christian Roarke and Ron Kister.)
Hauppauge, NY – On Tuesday, September 9, the Suffolk County Legislature recognized the Smith Point Lifeguards for becoming the United States Lifesaving Association’s 2014 National Champions. The Smith Point Lifeguards have been protecting the patrons of Smith Point County Park since July 8, 1959, and during this time there have been zero drowning’s within the protected bathing area. Legislator Kate Browning (WF-Shirley) and Majority Leader Rob Calarco (D-Patchogue) presented the lifeguards with a proclamation to congratulate them for this distinguished achievement.
The Smith Point Lifeguards have won the United States Lifesaving Association’s National Championship eight times over the past ten years. They have been named National Champions in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. The United States Lifesaving Association is America’s nonprofit, professional association of beach lifeguards and open water rescuers. The association works to reduce the incidence of death and injury in the aquatic environment through public education, national lifeguard standards, training programs, promotion of high levels of lifeguard readiness, and other means.
The Smith Point Lifeguards are known across the Country as the pinnacle of lifeguarding and sportsmanship, and in 2008 they received The Billy George United States Lifesaving Association Sportsmanship Award, being the only team-chapter to ever receive this honor. Lifeguard Brian Costello also received The Billy George United States Lifesaving Association Sportsmanship Award in 2014, and Lifeguard Tim Delaney received the 2014 New York State Lifeguard of the Year Award.
“We truly have the best lifeguards in the Country right here in Suffolk County,” stated Legislator Browning. “Our residents are extremely blessed to have these amazing professionals protecting their families at Smith Point Beach every summer. Not one life has been lost within the protected bathing area at our largest County beach since it opened in 1959 because of these brave men and women, and we need to support them in every way we can so they can continue the great work that they do.”
“Ocean rescue is the most difficult type of rescue,” stated Majority Leader Rob Calarco. “Our lifeguards risk their lives every day during the season so that Suffolk County families can enjoy a day at the beach. They deserve an enormous amount of credit for their hard work and dedication.”