Beach town launches cooler checks

July 10, 2008 4:07:04 PM PDT
If you're hitting the beach in Seaside Park prepare to have the badge checkers also check the contents of your cooler.

Beachgoers can still bring coolers to Sea Side Park down the Jersey shore. That's as long as there's no glass bottles or alcohol in them.

Now, officials there are taking a new step to make sure you leave those items at home.

"They're looking for glass or alcohol that could become a danger if they leave the glass on the beach and it becomes broke," said Michele Nick, the Assistant Beach Director for Seaside Park. "Other than that, everything else is allowed. They can have sandwiches, drinks, soda cans or plastic bottles."

If the checkers do find alcohol or glass, people are asked to return it to their cars or beach officials will hold it for the afternoon.

Most everyone we talked to thought checking the coolers was only a minimal inconvenience and a good way to make sure the beach is clean and safe for everyone. "I'd rather have the beach sober, clean and family friendly than have people on here with alcohol and drinking. That's what they're afraid of," said Rich Sargeant of Whiting, New Jersey.

But Gerry Trapper, who came from Scranton, Pa., didn't like it one bit. "It's a Nazi state. I like to come and enjoy and relax and I don't need 55 people looking over my shoulder."

Andy Halupa of Fairless Hills had a little cooler packed for his family and had no problem with anyone checking the contents. (GIZ=Andy Halupa/FAIRLESS HILLS, PENSYLVANIA) "Oh it didn't bother me at all," Halupa told Action News, "You only have to worry about it if you're trying to smuggle something in."

Seaside Park wants to promote a family atmosphere here; a place that's quieter and has less of the partying that goes on in Seaside Heights up to the north.

"We want you to come here and spend your vacation and enjoy it and feel like you're part of our local family," Nick said.