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Signs at the beach should say "Swim at own risk," says reader

By: Letter to the Editor
July 24, 2017

To the Editor:
RE: "No Swimming signs posted south of the south pier at Station Beach, Kincardine"

I think these signs must be replaced with proper signs that state, “Swim at own risk.” These signs are deterring visitors from attending our beautiful beach. Tourists will, and are, travelling to alternate destinations, such as Port Elgin and Goderich, which welcome people to the beaches. As they leave Kincardine, they take their tourist dollars with them.
For years, I have swum at the beach in this location, and I use my common sense when it is wavy and stay out. 
I do understand the purpose of the signs. An inquiry into the drowning of a young man a couple years ago, recommended that these signs be placed in their current locations. What happened was very tragic and always is when a life is lost.
Putting these signs up, with no indication as to why, has tourists confused. There are too many signs (no swimming, no biking, no parking) at the beach and they are causing people to go elsewhere.
I will continue to swim in this location and I will encourage my children to swim in this location. Jumping off the south pier is one of my and my children’s favourite fun activities to do in the summer, and it will continue whether the signs are there or not. There is no bylaw to enforce no swimming – therefore, people cannot be stopped from swimming there.
What I will do is, If I see people swimming there on a day that they shouldn’t be, such as extremely wavy days when the rip tide is present, I will caution them and explain the dangers of swimming in that area under those conditions.
There are other issues to deal with at the beach, rather than basically closing half of it and prohibiting swimming. 

Bonfires are illegal on the beach but they still happen. I frequently see people drinking alcohol and smoking illegal substances. There are always trucks with boat trailers taking up four parking spots. Motorized vehicles within the swim zone are constant. Personal vehicles are always parked on the Emergency Vehicle Route adjacent to the volleyball courts. 

Nothing ever gets done about these infractions, but more importantly, we are not allowed to swim in our great lake at our great beach in the said designated area even on the calmest of calm days. That makes no sense to me.
Change the signs to “SWIM AT OWN RISK.” Maybe the break-wall needs to be repaired as I don’t think it is doing its intended job in the state that it's in right now.
I am sure there are more people out there who are thinking exactly the same thing that I just wrote.
Bob Richards
Avid beach-goer


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