Ross: Helicopters patrolling beaches? It’s more likely than you think

May 17, 2023, 7:53 AM | Updated: 9:20 am

Helicopters patrolling beaches...

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 06: A police helicopter search for a missing person at Bondi beach on June 6, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Munoz/Getty Images)

(Photo by Daniel Munoz/Getty Images)

Seattle Parks and Recreation has decided to reduce the hours at Alki Beach and Golden Gardens because of “dangerous” and “illegal” behavior.

Apparently, the problem is too much social-media-inspired partying, with fights breaking out and general misbehavior on beaches. And last Saturday, a fatal shooting near Alki – although that happened at 6:30 p.m., so the curfew wouldn’t have helped.

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Beaches are notorious for bad behavior, some men – and it’s always men – can’t handle the intersection of booze, drugs, and skimpy clothing.

Nip it in the bud.

“A beachgoer informs lifeguards that a naked man is on the beach,” a newscast reads.

For example, Bondi Beach near Sydney, Australia. The lifeguards at Bondi don’t just look for struggling swimmers – they also look for inappropriate behavior.

“Lifeguards can’t police everything, but inappropriate behavior is not welcome on Bondi Beach,” the newscast continues.

The naked man is quickly covered up and hustled away.

Then a beachgoer informs a lifeguard that she saw a man smoking a cigarette and then spit at her when she told him it was against the rules.

“I’ve never seen anything or heard of anything like that done to someone here,” one beachgoer said.

So the lifeguards confronted him.

“We have witnesses saying that you spat and kicked sand on her. You and your mate need to get off the beach,” the lifeguards said.

And off the beach they went. The lifeguards at Bondi actually have what looks like a control tower– where they look for the kind of behavior that can start real trouble – like the guy who was taking pictures he should not have been taking.

“There’s been a complaint that you might have been taking some photos of some of the other people on the beach today. That been the case? Are you aware that’s actually an offense?” the lifeguard asked.

And then there was the case of the serial underwater toucher.

“There are reports of a man who’s inappropriately touching people. There were six reports in the space of half an hour,” lifeguards said.

“A guy just came up to us and tapped me on the shoulder, I don’t know what he said, but you could see in his eyes he’s so drunk,” one man said.

“We just wanted to make the lifeguards aware,” a woman said.

But the suspect swims out to a reef.

“After a one-hour standoff, a helicopter is called in,” the newscast said.

Yes, they eventually call in a helicopter.

So there is no fooling around at Bondi Beach.

I’m not saying we need helicopter patrols on beaches, but Summer is on the way, the jerks are out there, and this might be a good time to set some expectations.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Ross: Helicopters patrolling beaches? It’s more likely than you think