Missing lifeguard chairs are causing a dangerous and costly problem on the West Haven beachfront.
In some cases, the vandals have picked up the chairs and thrown them into the ocean, a destructive act that takes more than one person to perform.
“Pretty much once a week there's a chair in the water,” Margaret Ruggiero, director of aquatics for West Haven, said. “Last time, it ended up on the other side of town.”
In other cases, people have ripped slats from the chairs or tagged the, Ruggiero said.
The town spends up to $1,500 to fix or replace each chair.
Aside from it being a costly nuisance, it also affects public safety. Without chairs to sit high above the beachfront, it’s more difficult for life guards to keep an eye on parts of the 3-½ mile beachfront.
“On the chairs, you're high up. You can look around. It’s really not that straining, but when you're sitting down on the ground, you have to look around and very often, (it’s) harder to keep an eye on patrons,” Eli Avdeenkov, a lifeguard, said.