The safety of swimmers along the shores of Pasadena beach is a priority for the town, says Mayor Otto Goulding.
He made the comment when asked about an unconfirmed report that one swimmer had to be helped ashore after the wake from a joyrider on a Sea-doo made swimming difficult for a group of females in the area this past weekend. Apparently a man driving the Sea-doo had been circling the small group of swimmers repeatedly, causing a considerable wake
Goulding said he’d been told of the alleged situation.
A number of people in the area at the time were concerned about recreational boating in the same area as the swimming, and some residents share these concerns. Riders have been operating the machines in shallow water and in the area where people are playing.
Goulding said the safety of swimmers or recreational boating has not been something addressed by council, but he encouraged the complainant to write an official letter to council.
“I think swimmers have to be safe,” he said. “We have been putting a new emphasis on the beach, trying to make things right. If there are things that need to be fixed, and made safe for swimmers, we will do the best we can to do it.”
The mayor said it could be an area where both swimmers and boaters coincide, but only with the utmost safety in mind. If it is an area where boaters are coming or going ashore, it cannot negatively impact the swimmers, he said.
“Swimmers and Seadooers need to use common sense,” he said. “Pasadena beach has been long known for swimming. If they are in that particular area, they really have to show discretion and use a lot of caution — maybe to not even go in that area, because you never know when a swimmer is out there.”
Goulding said it is probably best that recreational boaters not use the area where swimmers are.
Meanwhile, it appears the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Deer Lake were not notified of the alleged weekend incident. Const. Michelle Cormier said there seems to be no record of any complaint. She is also unaware of any previous concerns or complaints in that area.
The officer said, if there was an incident, it is unfortunate there was no report made to police. She said reckless use of such machines is a big concern, with potentially tragic circumstances.
“There is very, very little we can do if they don’t make us aware of it,” Cormier said.
She encourages people to identify the boater or the particular vessel through, so police can investigate.
“Some people take some chance(s) in those things,” she said. “They don’t have the proper safety gear on, floatation devices, and they get too close to other boats and go too fast.”
She hopes lessons are learned before it is too late.
“I pray we will never have a death or anything major happen,” she said.
**** Edited July 15 ****