Sportspark pool is closed indefinitely, as is RIOC’s heart

Sportspark pool is closed indefinitely, as is RIOC’s heart

Sportspark pool is closed, multiple advisories tell us, but the most recent tells us worse. Not about how or why a young man drowned, but about RIOC’s self-absorption at everyone else’s expense.

By David Stone

Roosevelt Island Daily News

We all know folks who, no matter what’s going on, good or bad, find a way to make any conversation about themselves. RIOC is plagued with that kind of self-absorption. In less than a week, even a tragic drowning fades behind an “It’s all about us” story.

Yes, the Sportspark pool is closed, but what about RIOC’s heart? Does it even have enough for making up one out of the whole bunch?

As we reported earlier, the state agency bungled communications in the immediate shadow of the death. They simply closed the pool, without notice, posting a sign on the door that surprised regular swimmers on Monday Morning.

And they held off any information until the Roosevelt Islander began sniffing around and got answers from FDNY.

But even then, they couldn’t bring themselves into coming clean, not even close.

“…a 21-year-old individual, who was utilizing Sportspark Pool, was rushed to Mount Sinai Queens where they were pronounced dead.”

What happened? Why? Who was the victim? RIOC’s still not saying. In fact, they’ve never even said “drowning.”

But as bad as that is, it got worse.

Sportspark pool is closed, but it’s all about RIOC now

In what’s best seen as pushback, a bungled, evasive RIOC advisory, late Friday afternoon said…

“Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) is committed to the well-being of our community and is mindful of the role Sportspark Pool plays within it. We are also in support of our staff taking time and space to process Sunday’s traumatic event. In the interim, Sportspark Pool will remain closed pending RIOC’s effort to fully restaff the pool area.”

The comments are not attributed to anyone, just an anonymous messenger. No manager, executive or board member added a single word.

Within minutes, an email from a concerned resident hit our inbox.

“Hating to be stating the obvious — how about the trauma of the victim’s family?”

In defense of a prolonged closure, RIOC laughingly pledges its commitment to community “well-being,” but fails miserably by instantly turning the subject to themselves.

Inside that compact message is the usual big me/little you attitude. Outside, the implications are huge.

What we don’t know can hurt us…

First, we still don’t know the identity of the young man who lost his life, last Sunday evening. Resident? Non-resident? Was the family notified? By whom? Did RIOC reach out with condolences?

All we know is that the victim suffered some sort of trauma in the water. A doctor just happened to be in the pool too, at the time, and pulled him out. Heroic efforts at reviving the drowning victim failed.

There is no mention anywhere of a RIOC lifeguard, pool attendant or public safety officer on or near the scene, not from any source.

So, we don’t know anything about why RIOC staff needs an extended period for processing “Sunday’s traumatic event.”

Local residents affected by witnessing it, even trying to save the young man? The victims family and friends…? All absent from the state agency’s concerns.

But what about this implication-loaded closing?

“Sportspark Pool will remain closed pending RIOC’s effort to fully restaff the pool area.”

Why is RIOC frozen in an “effort to fully restaff the pool area…?”

What happened to the staff? And why?

RIOC secrecy prevails, withholding vital information from the community paying all the bills.

But why?

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