Here we are, another summer at Singing Beach! We have hired over 20 residents to lifeguard, work parking, clean the bathhouse and manage all things related to the beach. Lifeguard training, first aid certification and overall staff training has been completed.
The Manchester Fire Dept. has checked all safety equipment, straightened out open fire burning issues and are giving daily support to the emergency plan that is set up. The Manchester Police have assisted in hiring a detail officer for the weekends who will remain a constant part of the beach team. The police are, of course, always an important part of our everyday operations.
The Dept. Of Public Works has gone above and beyond, raking the beach to make sure it is not only beautiful but also safe from debris. They helped get the lifeguard chairs in place and pretty much done anything else we have asked to get up and ready for the season.
Memorial Day weekend ended up being a perfect weekend for staff bonding. Weather was rainy and cold, not a good recipe for beach opening. Staff took advantage of this time by reviewing the handbook, learning operations and having some time together in the bathhouse to get to know each other.
The first weekend in June on the other hand, felt like mid-July! Beach goers were anxious to get on the beach and enjoy some much anticipated relax time without the worry of masks. Beach staff were thrown into mid-season craziness with early season experience. The staff handled things very well and learned a lot in a short amount of time. Some things about the beach and parking may not be known to the average resident and this is a good time to review it.
For instance, did you know ...
The management of the beach may look different on different days and that is because managing a large crowd is different than managing a medium crowd and still different than managing a small crowd. Police and beach managers use their best discretion at any point in time. As of now, there is not a maximum amount of people allowed on the beach, even with our limited parking there can be about 1,500 people on a busy weekend day. That is a lot of people. To protect in the water, a lot of people getting food, walking around, and using the facilities.
At times, police and staff may decide that when the parking lot is full and there are over 1,000 people walking around, that it is not safe to also have a line of cars waiting to get into the parking lot. When this happens, cars WILL be turned away and told they may come back on the half hour to see if anything has opened. It is not safe to have a line of cars waiting, many cars "spinning the beach" and upwards of 1,000 people walking the area.
Please be respectful when this happens. No one wants to see anything bad happen, especially when crowding prevents emergency vehicles from getting through.
Most days, even if the lot fills, we can keep five or so cars waiting for the open spots, knowing there will be a turnover after noon.
We are not convinced that a shuttle is the answer to the beach traffic problems. As I mentioned, on a hot weekend day there are more than 1,500 people, we are not looking to get more people on the beach on those days. On slower days, people seem to always find a place to park.
Beach Staff is excited for the summer and are looking forward to the challenge.
Please, as residents, respect the staff, have patience, and set the example for others. Enjoy the beach and all it has to offer. Friends, sun, sand, and sea. That sounds like a summer to me!