Coney Island Drownings Fail to Deter New Yorkers as City Swelters

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“I love this water, but it’s no lifeguards here never, never,” Ms. Priskima, 72, said. “I live here two years. I’ve never seen a lifeguard, but a lot of people here.”

For some beachgoers, however, the spate of deaths had made them more cautious about the ocean.

“It’s always been a big issue, and it’s terrifying,” said Angelica Vasquez, 54, who was at the Coney Island beach with her son on Saturday. She added that her children know how to swim, but she did not want to venture too deep. “I refuse,” she said. “They can get their feet wet, that is it. They’re not going in there.”

Ms. Vasquez said she recalled seeing an emergency cellphone alert about the missing swimmers the night before.

“We know we get an alert like that, someone’s not going to be here much longer,” she said.

New York City beaches are staffed with lifeguards until 6 p.m. every day, and swimming is prohibited after that, though that rule is difficult to enforce. When the heat index — a measure of how hot it feels that accounts for humidity — stays high into the night, the cool water can be a tempting respite beyond 6 p.m., especially in the height of summer, when the sun doesn’t set until just before 8:30 p.m.

Last week, the Queens borough president, Donovan Richards, urged the city and the union that represents lifeguards to consider extending the hours that lifeguards are on duty until at least 7 p.m., especially during heat waves.

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