To the editor:
The events that led to the firing of two Gloucester lifeguard supervisors were experienced firsthand by lots of beachgoers last Sunday as it was high tide on the hottest day of the year so far. I was one of them. I want to thank Mr. Destino and other city officials who investigated these events and took swift and decisive action to send the message to all that safety on Gloucester beaches is paramount.
The lifeguards who staged the “sickout” in protest have it exactly wrong and their loyalty is misplaced. The senior guards jumped off the bridge for all to see not once, but twice, which only emboldened others who were initially causing the trouble for the guards on the stand. When they should have been helping to get the situation under control in support of the guards they supervise they did the exact opposite. Their actions said to everyone watching “the rule about jumping off the bridge is stupid and you should ignore it.”
Perhaps the Times could rerun the story from years ago when a young man jumped from the bridge and has been paralyzed ever since. I am sure his family and friends read your article and were reminded of that awful day when their lives were changed forever. Teenagers who want to jump off the bridge will say, “that couldn’t happen to me,” because they believe they believe they are invincible. But Gloucester’s lifeguard supervisors should know better.
Editor’s note: After this letter was submitted, the city of Gloucester reduced the firing of the lifeguard supervisors to a suspension, and the lifeguards who staged a sickout have returned to work.