Drowning prompts calls for more safety measures on Kincardine beach
Since 2008, four people have drowned in the water off Station Beach in Kincardine.
The most recent death was that of 16-year-old Lucas Johnson, who disappeared in the water last month as a storm rolled into the area.
His death has spurred a group of citizens to call for action from the municipality to make the area safer.
Graham Hancock knows the danger of the Lake Huron riptide all too well.
His brother Michael, a Kitchener resident, died while trying to rescue his daughter from the water in 2008.
The passage of time and the drowning of Johnson, he says, have spurred him into action.
“I felt like I could not standby anymore,” he said.
“What we’re doing now is not adequate.”
Municipal councillors recently agreed to bring in the Lifesaving Society to do a safety audit of the beach and pier areas.
“We’re not experts. We have to have expert advice, and this is why we’re going to the Lifesaving Society,” Mayor Anne Eadie said in an interview.
Hancock says he’s glad to see the audit, but wants to see something done sooner to help mitigate what he calls a “very, very dangerous” situation.
“It’s one aspect of what’s required, but there are many other actions that could be taken,” he said.
Two warning signs posted at the edges of the beach alert passersby to the potential danger. Hancock says he wants to see more obvious, blatant signage.
“I guarantee you that 16-year-olds on their way to have fun in the waves are not stopping to read these detailed signs,” he said.
Another resident calling for more safety measures, Matt Harvey, says he wants to see the “danger zone” around the south pier closed to the public immediately, and for the municipality to create a safety committee.
The Lifesaving Society audit is expected to take place this fall.