Tag Archives: Oyster Bay

MTA customers still satisfied, says annual survey


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

The results of the MTA 2012 Customer Satisfaction Survey are in, and riders remain pleased with all New York City transit options.

Surveying 18,000 people, the agency found that the biggest jump in satisfaction was with the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) and Metro-North.

The increase comes after last year’s drop that was likely due to “winter storms and service disruptions from Amtrak repairs/derailment,” said the MTA.

In 2010 the LIRR had an overall satisfaction rate of 89 percent, but was 78 percent in 2011. This year it went back up to 86 percent.

Among the individual lines, Port Washington, Port Jefferson and Port Washington tied for first with a 90 percent rating. The worst line, Oyster Bay, still rated high at 79 percent.

Overall, riders were just as happy with the subways and buses as much as they were last year.

As in the past two years, only about 45 percent of straphangers were satisfied with how well the MTA kept subway trains from getting too crowded during rush hours. It was the only category in the 2012 survey that received a rating below 67 percent.

Bus riders were least happy with how long they had to wait for a bus to arrive and frequency of service. They were most satisfied with convenience of bus routes.

Satisfaction with tunnels and bridges was up from both 2011 and 2010, at 85 percent, and drivers were most pleased with the Queens Midtown Tunnel.

See more results from the MTA 2012 Customer Satisfaction Survey.

Boat safety tips


| mchan@queenscourier.com

In the wake of the July 4 tragedy in Oyster Bay in which three Suffolk County children were trapped and killed in a capsized, overloaded watercraft, local marina officials stressed the importance of boat safety.

Overloading boats could be a deadly decision, said Martin Munch, president of the Bayside Marina.

“You want to have ample room to move around in case of an emergency,” he said, adding that occupancy rules vary for each boat, depending on the type and style of the craft.

According to New York state boating requirements, a capacity plate — usually located in plain sight near the operator’s station — on board vessels less than 21 feet long indicates how much weight the boat can safely carry, and should never be exceeded.

Boaters under 12 years old on a vessel less than 65 feet are also required to wear life vests, as well as anyone on a vessel less than 21 feet between November 1 and May 1, according to the United States Coast Guard. Violations can lead to a fine of up to $100.

Munch recalled a July 2002 accident in Little Neck Bay that claimed two lives — John Kondogianis, 36, of Elmont, L.I., and George Lawrence, 17, of Little Neck — when they were both thrown overboard and killed by a colliding boat in the waters off the Bayside Marina. Marina staff members often make safety recommendations to private boaters, Munch said, but ultimately enforcement falls under the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the United States Coast Guard on all federally controlled waters.

Drownings in Queens, Long Island, as lifeguard saves boy


| mchan@queenscourier.com

A 21-year-old Bellerose lifeguard was hailed a hero on the same day families in Douglaston Manor and Long Island mourned the losses of their children in July 4’s tragic drownings.

Christos Voulkoudis, 4, drowned in a relative’s pool in Douglaston Manor around 6 p.m., authorities said. He was rushed to North Shore University Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police said they do not suspect criminality.

Earlier that day, a one-year-old boy in East Islip fell and drowned at around 12:40 p.m. after climbing the ladder of an above-ground backyard pool, officials said.

Then a capsized powerboat in Oyster Bay trapped and drowned three Suffolk County children — David Aurelino, 12, Harley Treanor, 11, and Victoria Gaines, 8 — during a nighttime Fourth of July fireworks show, police said.

There were 27 people on board — twice the reported number the boat could carry — and the incident, according to reports, may have been caused by overcrowding and powerful waves from nearby vessels on the water.

Voulkoudis’ pool drowning is the first in Queens this summer, but there were 49 deaths citywide due to accidental drowning and submersion between 2006 and 2010 in natural waters or pools, said a spokesperson for the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The vast majority of those deaths, 76 percent, occurred in natural waters. But officials stressed the need for parents to stay vigilant while supervising children in any body of water.

“Most children slip under the water — and it’s silent — in as little as 20 seconds, the time it takes to send a text message or finish an article if you’re reading,” said Mary O’Donoghue, aquatic specialist for the YMCA of Greater New York. “Those 20 seconds you could prevent and be right there.”

According to New York’s Department of State’s Division of Code Enforcement & Administration, swimming pools installed, constructed or substantially modified after December 14, 2006, must be equipped with an approved alarm capable of detecting a person entering the water at any point on the surface of the pool.

Barriers completely surrounding the pool must also be at least 4 feet high, state law requires.

Meanwhile, a Fourth of July disaster was averted thanks to a clear-headed, speedy lifeguard who sprang into action and saved an 11-year-old boy from drowning in a crowded Glen Oaks pool.

Emily Harms, a 21-year-old Bellerose resident, said she was off watch-duty, sitting at a sign-in table doing paperwork at the Royal Ranch pool, when all of a sudden she heard someone screaming her name.

She saw a mother jump into the pool and pull her lifeless son out of the shallow end of the water. Since she was closer to the victim than the lifeguard on watch duty, Harms said she sprinted toward the pair without thinking.

“He was blue and he wasn’t breathing. He didn’t have a pulse,” said Harms, who began administering two sets of CPR with the backup of two fathers who also ran over to help. “He started getting sick and throwing up, but that was a good sign because he started breathing afterward.”

The boy was still unconscious and was rushed by EMTs to Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Harms said, where he is expected to make a full recovery.

Despite all the newfound attention, she said she does not expect the praise.

“This was just part of the job,” she said. “I appreciate everything, but I’m just happy that it had a good ending. It could have been a lot of worse.”