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First Philadelphia Public Pools Open for the 2014 Summer Season

(Opening day of the swimming pool at the Cruz Recreation Center, in North Philadelphia.  Photo by John McDevitt)

(Opening day of the swimming pool at the Cruz Recreation Center, in North Philadelphia. Photo by John McDevitt)

John McDevitt John McDevitt
John McDevitt has been a reporter and editor at KYW Newsradio 1060...
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By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The first of Philadelphia’s seventy outdoor swimming pools opened for the season today with a big splash in North Philadelphia.

At the Cruz Recreation Center, at Sixth and Master Streets, a whistle was blown on the count of three and those along the edge of the pool were allowed a one-time-only jump into the shallow end of the pool.

“It’s great — it’s great!” said one girl.

“It’s a little bit cold,” admitted a second.

But, acknowledged a third, “It feels refreshing!”

Theodore Bethea, lifeguard supervisor, says safety always comes first, and those in or around the pool need to follow the rules or they may be asked to leave.

“I told them the rules about fighting or profanity or even just breaking the rules,” he said today.  “I’ll give them a chance, or maybe I’ll make them walk around the pool a couple of times to think about it.”

Some of the kids were looking forward to taking swimming lessons.  Others want to join the swim team.

The rest of the city’s pools will opening, six to ten at a time, over the next week and a half (see previous story).