Rockaway Lifeguard Totally Tunes Out

Photog snaps pics of lazing lifeguard wearing headphones

David Hasselhoff, he ain't.

A lifeguard at Rockaway Beach was caught listening to headphones while on-duty in his lifeguard chair yesterday -- just one day after a teen died in the dangerous riptides in the same Rockaway waters.

A New York Post photographer snapped a damning picture of the lazing lifeguard listening to tunes at his post on Beach 108th Street -- a violation of common sense and parks department rules.

"Lifeguards are not permitted to wear headphones on duty," city parks department spokesman Phil Abramson told the Post. "Lifeguards are supposed to give their complete and undivided attention to the job at hand."

The dereliction of duty yesterday morning came a day after Daniel O'Neill died when he was swept up in a riptide at a Rockaway Beach where there was no lifeguard protection. The grieving family of the drowned 19-year-old from the Bronx fumed at the headphone-wearing lifeguard, who was not named.

"A part of me died last night. And now . . . it hurts even more," O'Neill's uncle, Pedro, told the Post.  "How are they supposed to save lives if they can't hear anything? He is supposed to be paying attention to his surroundings. This is so wrong."

The parks department said it will investigate and take disciplinary action if necessary.

One lifelong Rockaway resident said he wasn't that surprised by the sandy shenanigans.

"Half the time,"  Anthony Colella, 45, told the Post, "they're chatting with people. They're listening to music. They're on their cellphones. They're texting with people."

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