Police Prevent Overcrowding on Beaches in the Hamptons

The access point on South Emerson Avenue at Nick’s Beach, seen here Monday, was temporarily closed Saturday to allow Marine Patrol, lifeguards to encourage social distancing. Independent/ T. E. McMorrow

Both the East Hampton and Southampton Town police departments had to restrict access to several beaches on Saturday. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, beaches can only fill to 50% capacity.

According to East Hampton Town Police Chief Michael Sarlo, the beach parking lots in at both Ditch Plains and Kirk Park beaches in Montauk reached capacity and so access to the beaches had to be closed for about an hour each. The same was true of Indian Wells Beach in Amagansett.

The chief said there was also an issue Saturday with a lack of social distancing on the beaches in downtown Montauk. Accordingly, the South Emerson Avenue access point at Nick’s Beach “was closed for several hours as the lifeguards and Marine Patrol requested further social distancing and spread people out along the sand,” the chief said.

Sunday was overcast and crowding on the beaches was not a problem, Sarlo reported.

Southampton Town Police Chief Steven Skrynecki reported that, for the seventh time this summer, access to Flying Point Beach in Water Mill had to be shut off on Saturday, also for about an hour. At Ponquoge Beach in Hampton Bays, Sagg Main Beach in Sagaponack, and Mecox Beach in Bridgehampton, for a period of time on Saturday, entrance to the beach was only allowed when someone exited.

As with East Hampton, the chief said overcrowding was not an issue on Sunday.

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