Michael Bloomberg Warns New Yorkers Not to Swim Without a Lifeguard

By Ben Fractenberg on June 24, 2010 1:56pm 

Police guard the doors of Columbia Secondary School in Harlem Tuesday, where 12-year-old Nicole Suriel attended the 6th grade.
Police guard the doors of Columbia Secondary School in Harlem Tuesday, where 12-year-old Nicole Suriel attended the 6th grade.
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DNAinfo/Jill Colvin

By Ben Fractenberg

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

TIMES SQUARE — Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned New Yorkers not to swim without a lifeguard on duty just two days after a sixth-grader drowned in a riptide at Long Beach on a school trip.

“Nobody should be going into the water when there's no lifeguards. Period," Bloomberg said Thursday after he was asked a question about the death of Nicole Suriel, 12, at a press conference.

"I don't know how you manage on, losing a child," he added.

Suriel's death has prompted Long Beach officials to enforce a “no swimming” policy on their beaches until lifeguards begin watching the beaches next week, WCBS New York reported Thursday. 

Suriel’s parents said on Wednesday they didn't sign a permission slip allowing the trip, while the city announced an independent investigation into the drowning.

First-year teacher Erin Bailey was one of three adults who supervised the students on the beach. School officials said they would not decide on any disciplinary action until after the investigation is completed, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer called for an investigation into field trip protocol on Wednesday. Stringer wants to determine whether more supervisors should be required on all trips and what level of emergency response training they should be required to have.

A wake for Suriel is taking place Friday at Ortiz Funeral Home at 187th Street and Broadway from 2 to 8 p.m.

The school is holding a memorial service Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Morningside Park, across from the school.

A sign on the school door with news of Nicole Suriel's memorial.
A sign on the school door with news of Nicole Suriel's memorial.
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DNAinfo/Gabriela Resto-Montero

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