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Trustee: Sandbar Screwup Should Not Deprive Everyone

Eric Shultz, president of the Southampton Trustees, says plenty of families enjoy the area without any incident.

On Saturday night, emergency officials had to rescue 37 people from a sandbar in Shinnecock Bay, where a party was being held, after the boaters who took the partiers to the sandbar in the first place left them behind.

Three who tried to swim to shore were rescued after being caught in a strong current.

Eric Shultz, president of the Southampton Trustees, a governmental body that oversees the waterways, said that despite the screw-up made by the party-goers, everyone's enjoyment should not be deprived.

"The bays and beaches and islands are what make this such a great place to live," Shultz said. "The sandbar is used by many local families who respect the bay."

"Some people make bad judgements," he said.

The sandbar, said Shultz, sits about 1,000 feet from the shore and it is a popular spot for families.

"You just have to watch the tides or your boat will become grounded," he said.

Senior Bay Constable Chris Kohnken agreed, saying that the incident was one of a kind.

"We patrol that area on a regular basis. We don't usually run into random people getting dropped off there by random people," he said, adding that the sandbar is mostly used by families and bay constables have never run into a problem there before.

He also said that the area is patrolled by the constables on a regular basis.

Patch wants to know: Do you think there should be stricter police enforcement over beach parties? A max number of residents allowed on the sandbar at one time? Or, more of a police presence patrolling local waters to prevent such events in the future? Comment below.

Ron August 30, 2012 at 03:52 PM
The article says it all. Boaters want to escape to the outdoors and enjoy themselves without feeling like they are being hovered over or harassed by the police or coast guard. Everyone shouldnt be punished for the actions of a few irresponsable people.
highhatsize August 31, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Please, god, no more laws. Their only affect will be to enable the STPD to write more tickets. (They, alone of all the agencies, issued citations for SWIMMING in this incident to people who tried to escape the sandbar unaided.) More laws won't improve the safety of the public one iota.
jks September 02, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Yes, there should be a limit on the number of residents on the sand bar at one time. My family has enjoyed being on that sand bar often over the years, but they are cautious and watch the tides, etc.

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