Students skip school and head to the beach in Port Dover
Friday’s hot conditions made for a perfect beach day.
So high school students, including some from Norfolk County, packed up their bathing suits, towels and sunglasses and headed down to Port Dover.
According to Ontario Provincial Police, students are calling the first Friday of June and unofficial “beach day.” They leave school with – or without – parental permission and head to Long Point, Turkey Point and Port Dover.
“It’s a skip day,” Kiley Thistle, a grade 10 student, told CTV News.
“We never really did beach day in high school, so it’s honestly a fun experience,” added Dakota Mikaela Fletcher, a grade 12 student. “I wanted to experience it with my friends.”
The OPP’s Norfolk County detachment enhanced patrols in and around beach areas, focusing their attention on those who “fail to make safety a priority.”
In previous years, OPP said they responded to a number of incidents related to underage drinking, drinking and driving, assaults and more.
“We’d be naïve to think today would be no different so we’re just targeting those types of behaviours that jeopardize people’s safety,” said Andrew Gamble with the OPP.
As for the crowd on Friday, police said it was relatively smooth and everyone was following safety rules.
“Given the weather that we’ve been having we expected a higher than normal turnout, but we’ve been having good luck so far,” Gamble said.
NO TRESPASSING SIGNS
One reason for the lower turnout at Norfolk County beaches could be the “no trespassing” signs.
“I just want to respect the boundaries,” said Thistle. “I don’t want to make someone uncomfortable or get in trouble for something.”
The owner of the private area was not available for an interview Friday, but the issue of bylaw enforcement at the beach is still being worked out with the owners and the county.
In an email to CTV News, Norfolk County Mayor Amy Martin said: “Norfolk County staff are continuing to dialogue and negotiate with private beach landowners and updates to council are expected later this month during a special council meeting that is being scheduled. We remain optimistic and confident that all issues will be resolved soon.”