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Wednesday, July 17, 2024


Distribution of Beach Injury Brochures Questioned


By Jack Fichter

CAPE MAY — In March, the city promised to distribute at least 50,000 copies of a new beach safety brochure designed to prevent head, neck and back injuries, incidents with swimmers caught in rip currents and jelly fish stings.
In April, City Manager Bruce MacLeod displayed copies of the city’s colorful, new beach safety brochure created by Chad DeSatnick, a former lifeguard who sustained a spinal injury.
DeSatnick has been approaching City Council for nine years to get a program created to warn the public of head, neck and spine (C-Spine) injuries. He visited schools to teach students how to avoid C-Spine injuries.
DeSatnick is not happy with the distribution of the brochures, and addressed the problem in a July 19 letter to City Council and MacLeod:
“I stopped in the City of Cape May Beach Tag office on Friday, July 2, and spoke with a supervisor about the distribution plan that the city manager or mayor had given the beach taggers. The supervisor told me that they were never given instructions to hand out the beach safety brochures to every beach patron, but they simply have the brochures stored behind the counter for anyone who asks for a copy.
“When I asked the supervisor about having each beach tagger holding some copies of the brochure, I was told, ‘What do expect every person that purchases a beach tag and walks onto the beach to be handed one of the brochures? There is no way we can ask our taggers to do this, it’s just not feasible,” continued DeSatnick in his letter.
“I was taken back by her question and did not want to create any tension between myself and the taggers, so I decided to walk out of the office,” he said.
DeSatnick said “It is my belief that the safety and welfare of every beach patron should be considered when making decisions on the policies on the beaches of Cape May.”
He also raised a question of a beach tagger he encountered who did not know which beaches were designated for surfing.
“If the beach tagger had a copy of the new beach safety brochure, he would have been aware of the designated surfing, fishing, and recreational beaches. After all, isn’t the awareness campaign and creating public knowledge the number one goal of the beach safety program?” said DeSatnick in his letter.
Two phone calls to MacLeod’s office by the Herald were not answered.
DeSatnick is asking the city to “initiate a more firm distribution plan with the beach safety brochures.”
Earlier this year, he noted the majority of people getting injured here are not from Cape May. He said he was encouraged by the brochures as being more effective than just a sign at beach entrances that warned of dangerous shorebreaks.

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