Group of Brooklyn open water swimmers aim to make the sea safer

Open water swimmers say they don't believe all watercraft operators know about the law.

Katelynn Ulrich and

News 12 Staff

May 30, 2024, 11:12 AM

Updated 14 days ago

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A group of open water swimmers in Brooklyn believe the sea needs to be safer and have taken it upon themselves to address it.
The group lays out buoys that say "Minimum Motocraft Distance 500 Feet."
State law says that watercraft can't come within 500 feet of a beach.
The open water swimmers we spoke to say they don't believe all watercraft operators know about the law.
They hope the sign warns them and keep swimmers safe.
"We did have a friend hit by a Jet Ski about eight or nine years ago, I would say. We also wanted to mitigate the anxiety of swimmers. This isn't foolproof but if it minimizes their anxiety a little bit, that's helpful to us,” said swimmer Joe Koppelman.
Koppelman started dropping the bouys right after that happened. Capri Djatiasmoro helps the group navigate the rules and regulations.
The city stopped placing buoys in the 90s but a Parks Department spokesperson says there's reason for that.
They tell News 12 the city stopped the practice because some swimmers used it as a goal marker.
The open water swimmers say they don't know of any incidents.


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