Rick Poillon: Lifeguards worth investment

July 20, 2013 

Worth the investment

It’s more than a little disturbing to read that so many municipalities along the N.C. coast are willing to take in tourist dollars yet forgo lifeguard services to protect them (“Rip currents make for deadly holiday” July 10).

Years ago, Carteret County cut off funding for lifeguard services to its towns. Our residents were adamant about providing protection and our town council wisely developed a plan. To the chagrin of many, we started charging for parking.

However, I think that paying to park to support a safe beach is a no-brainer (and renters get passes for free parking). Our town is only about four miles wide, with protected swimming areas and a top notch EMS crew with state of the art equipment capable of performing all manner of rescues. This is not rocket science; it’s simply a matter of conscience and priority.

If other beach towns choose to expose tourists to “swim at their own risk,” then maybe tourists should spend their dollars at the beaches that provide the safety they should expect.

If a little town like Atlantic Beach can do it, so can they, and I would ask them: “What’s the value of even one life?”

Rick Poillon

Atlantic Beach

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