Portsmouth town beach closed to swimming


PORTSMOUTH — It may be the first day of summer, but Sandy Point Beach is still closed for swimming due to high bacteria counts, according to the R.I. Department of Health.

The beach was closed to swimmers late Tuesday afternoon. As of noon on Friday, the health department had not rescinded its order.

"They took a sample this morning and hopefully we'll hear something back this afternoon," said lifeguard Aaron Correia at around noon Friday.

He and fellow lifeguard Griffin Prescott made sure that no one entered the water. In addition, attendants at the entrance to the parking lot were telling drivers that the water was off-limits, so there were only a few people sunning themselves on the beach.

Morgainne Agin of Portsmouth was at Sandy Point on Tuesday when officials arrived to announce that swimming was prohibited. Still, she didn't know the ban was still in affect when she came Friday with her friend, Ariel Kleinsmith of Bristol. They had no plans on jumping in, anyway.

"Surprised? Yeah, but not affected because it's still too cold," said Ms. Agin.

"It is kind of weird and scary," Ms. Kleinsmith said of the swimming ban.

According to the health department's website, Sandy Point Beach has been closed only two times before from 2000 to 2012, for a total of four days.

For up-to-date information about the status of Sandy Point and other Rhode Island beaches, visit www.health.ri.gov/beaches or call 401/222-2751.


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