The father of a 12-year-old girl who drowned during a class trip in Long Beach, Long Island, told the NY Times, "We had so much fun there, going to the beach [in the Dominican Republic]. She loved the beach, but she didn’t know how to swim." Juan Suriel said he tried to teach her, but emphatically told the Daily News that daughter Nicole "did not know how to swim" and that he and his wife never signed a permission slip.
The Columbia Secondary School outing has raised questions about the supervision from adults (one teacher, a substitute teacher, and a student intern), the school's field trip procedures, and the Department of Education's oversight of field trips. Nicole and her classmates went to Long Beach, where signs clearly stated there were no lifeguards on duty and there was no swimming allowed. A classmate "told The Post yesterday that an adult supervisor said they could go into the water as long as they stayed in a certain area"; the boy said, "nobody warned us at all...[the adults were] supervising from the beach and gave us a limit of where to go [in the water]. That's all."
On Wednesday, a day after Nicole drowned, a 15-year-old Bronx High School student was saved from drowning off Long Beach. Lifeguards will be there full-time starting tomorrow.