The new owner of the Oasis on Pasadena beach says he is personally safety conscious.
Following concerns raised about the safety of swimmers with the frequency of recreational boaters in the area, Jim Pink told The Western Star he was not aware of a weekend incident in which a female allegedly had to be assisted after struggling in the wake caused by a circling personal watercraft.
However, Pink is aware of an increased number of boaters and personal watercraft riders that frequent the area. He said it does pose a higher risk to swimmers and waders, where it is swim at your own risk on the public beach.
After hearing of the alleged incident, he said he plans to further discussions with the town council about plans for the area.
“I don’t have any control over the water,” Pink said. “I lease the beach and I have the restaurant here, but I have no control over the water.
“Seeing we are here, and a big attraction, I would love to see boaters exercise extra caution. There are a lot of kids out in the water quite often.”
With talk of a floating dock, Pink said increased signage has been discussed. However, he said an increased police presence would also be an asset to help deter reckless joyriding or other potentially harmful behaviour.
“Hopefully there could be some authority on the water, that would come and check some of the Sea-Dooers and have a presence to let them know there is somebody in the area sometimes looking to make sure the area is safe,” he said.
He sees swimmers and recreational boaters as both valuable customers, so hopes there is a way to accommodate all. Some people have suggested roping off a designated swimming area, but he said there is a tendency for swimmers to go beyond the recommended limits. He is concerned about any false sense of security this could create. He also has a concern for the people who use paddle boards or kayaks and said he frequently asks boaters to be cautious as they launch from or come into the area.
“I’ve told people to take an eye, because some people go out really far and they are up to their neck,” Pink said. “Sometimes you can’t see them, especially if there are waves on the water if it is a windy day.
“Especially with some of the younger crowd, they like to come in and show off a bit as close to the beach they can. Ideally, they would practise a bit of extra caution.”
*** Edited July 16 ***