Bronx Public Pools; Community Leaders Demand Action; and Swimming Safety Tips

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I was planning on posting this anyway, but it seems to have added importance now in light of the tragedy that claimed the lives of two teens in the Bronx River yesterday.

There are 10 public pools in the Bronx, (just click on “Bronx” tab if Bronx pools don't immediately show up) according to the Parks Department's Web site. On hot summer days they are crowded of course, and there are a lot of rules, but they are safe and fun. Yesterday I waited in line with my family for about half an hour in the late afternoon at the Van Cortlandt Park Pool and despite the heat and a long line everyone was patient. The large pool was crowded but hard to find a face among the hundreds without a smile on it. The wading pool was less crowded and lots of little kids and their parents were having a blast there, too.The pools have a number of programs including swimming classes for all ages, and free meal programs for those that qualify. I'm not sure about the other pools, but Van Cortlandt has lap swimming for adults in the early morning, from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

In light of the Bronx River tragedy, Assemblyman Peter Rivera and Community Board 6 chair Ivine Galarza are calling on Police and Parks departments to better patrol the area where the teens drowned. Despite the “No Swimming” signs, it's long been a popular place for kids to swim in the summer heat.

“This is a high risk situation that should come as no surprise to the New York City Parks Department as they have been repeatedly notified in writing as to the safety issues and dangers of not having patrols in this area,” Galarza said in a statement. “This community is still waiting for a formal reply and the necessary action to prevent another tragedy as we experienced yesterday.”

Meanwhile, St. Barnabas Hospital has released some tips for swimmers. We reprint it here in full after the jump.