Reggie Jones, Jones Beach’s longest-serving lifeguard, dies at 93

Reggie Jones, Jones Beach’s longest-serving lifeguard, dies at 93


Reggie Jones, whose 64-calendar year tenure manufactured him the longest-serving lifeguard at Jones Island Condition Park on Extended Island, NY was 93 many years previous on January 30 at Rockville Center.

His death at a living facility was confirmed by his son, also named Reggie Jones, who stated he most likely had diabetic issues.

Mr. Jones, a Environment War II Navy veteran, began his lifeguard job as a teenager on Jones Beach front in 1944 and worked each individual summer months – such as on other condition shorelines on Lengthy Island for many many years – in 2009 , Saved much more than 1,000 oceans.

Even in his 70s, Mr. Jones continued to astonish his fellow lifeguards on the beach, notoriously demanding a recycling check.

A witty, flamboyant male, he would surface in his outdated woolen a person-piece tank-top lifeguard accommodate and go a demanding pool dash. He final passed the examination in 2008, when he was 80.

But the following yr, he skipped the expected time of 80 seconds in 100 seconds of swimming – for two seconds – forcing a seemingly lifeless lifesaver into retirement, his son mentioned.

Even though it was only coincidental that Mr. Jones’ last title was also that of the popular seaside he protected, it further solidified his situation as his most common worker.

Just after retiring from lifeguarding, he expended many many years functioning on the boardwalk as a seaside ambassador and main narrator. This permitted him to keep on with the lifeguards and to delight in his extreme exercise of vigorous sea swim, seashore operates and weightlifting.

“He loved the whole setting – currently being out in the fresh new air, doing exercises and the social aspects of it,” mentioned his son, who is an assistant main lifeguard at Level Lookout on Extensive Island, who himself labored at the seaside for 53 years is.

Mr. Jones’ son explained he requested that he be cremated and the rescue crew experienced his ashes scattered in the sea on Jones Seashore.

Albert Reginald Jones was born in Manhattan on April 8, 1927, with Mary Kate and Adam Jones, Irish immigrants, and grew up on Extensive Island. As a wrestler at Baldwin Significant School, He gained a Prolonged Island Championship in 1944.

The very same calendar year, his son mentioned, he commenced lifeguarding at Jones Seashore to avoid functioning at his father’s fuel station.

“He was by no means a formal swimming lesson, but he was robust enough that he could move any examination,” explained the younger Mr. Jones. “At the time they acquired do the job, they stated, ‘Vallah, I have arrived.”

This was a time ahead of air conditioning and yard pools were extensive. The Jones Beach crowd was large, and lifeguards dressed modestly, like numerous beachgoers

“Now they dress in dental floss,” Mr. Jones Informed the New York Periods in 2000.

“The initial bikini went to the beach front all over 1952,” he recalled. “She pretty much prompted a riot, and the police took her.”

In the late 1940s, Mr. Jones fulfilled his long term wife, Bette Gallacher, at a beach concession web site wherever he worked as a cashier. They married in 1950. He died in 2006.

In addition to his son Reggie, Mr. Jones is survived by a further son, Gavin A sister, Sheila Uris And two granddaughters. His son Kevin died in 1982.

Mr. Jones taught social scientific tests at Backyard Metropolis Junior Substantial University for over 30 many years, where by he also coached wrestling. He spent a fifty percent-century doing the job as a higher school and collegiate wrestling referee and became a member in 1997 Nationwide Wrestling Hall of Fame.

By the 1990s, Mr. Jones experienced come to be dean of a Not a possible cadre of outdated ocean everyday living guards. He worked out of a lifeguard hut at East Bathhouse in Jones Beach front, as it was a foundation for the legendary lifeguard, fondly known as Jurassic Park.

One particular of them, 77-12 months-aged Lee Hahn, who, after 56 several years as a lifeguard, now performs as a lifeguard tools manager on Jones Beach, said Mr Jones was “not as physically suit as yesterday” And Mr. Jones each individual New Year’s Day. Jones constantly usually takes polar bears in swimming waters in his outdated woolly one particular-piece on the beach.

“He known as it his annual physicality,” Mr. Hain said. “If it didn’t destroy him, he would have been fantastic for another yr.”

Exterior the lifeguard stand, Mr. Jones was both doing work outside the house or telling the story and jokes on the seaside, explained Bruce Meiroviz, 69, a lifeguard with 53 summers on the seaside.

Mr. Jones relished demonstrating the ability to blast his legs horizontally with just one-armed force-ups and 1-armed pull-ups.

Carrie Epstein, a different Jones Beach lifeguard, explained that when she started off at the seaside 23 many years in the past at the age of 17, Mr. Jones was continue to motivating youthful lifeguards by enthusiastically relocating marine continues to be and continuing operate.

“He was four occasions my age when I worked with him, but he took folks like me beneath his wing and figured out how to get to the rescue web page and taught us the love of the beach and the h2o , “Stated Mr. Epstein.

Mr. Jones’ most crucial defense was that of a wonderful swimmer at sea in the course of a dense fog. He attained the swimmer, but could not see the shoreline for him to swim.

“He mentioned it was the hardest, tiring knowledge of his lifestyle,” his son recalled. “To preserve that man absent from himself and struggle the current. But they did control to help save him. “