Unfriendly waters

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Boats and water are typically a perfect match, but that hasn’t been the case for recreational seafarers in Pasadena in recent days after a report surfaced about someone on a personal watercraft having a bit too much fun near the town’s beach last weekend.

The man on the machine was allegedly circling around a group of swimmers and causing a wake, which apparently led to a female bather needing assistance to escape the churning waters.

A day at the beach where both watercraft users and those taking a dip coexist is all fun and games — until it’s not.

Whether the intentions of the rider were innocent or playful is beside the point. When recreational boating becomes irresponsible boating, a line in the sand will be drawn between those who take to the water with machines and those who don’t.

Exactly what happened that day can’t be confirmed because police were not called, but the RCMP is concerned nonetheless.

“Some people take some chance(s) in those (personal watercrafts),” Deer Lake Const. Michelle Cormier told The Western Star earlier this week. “They don’t have the proper safety gear on, floatation devices, and they get too close to other boats and go too fast.”

Aside from being one of the most honest responses you’ll ever read from a member of the Mounties, that quote also underscores how serious and tragic things can become if events were even more serious than what happened last weekend.

In addition to the RCMP, Pasadena’s council is considering looking into the matter, while the owner of the nearby Oasis bar and restaurant has encouraged an increased police presence to monitor the shores. That’s also an honest response to last weekend’s events, given the Oasis could stand to lose customers if fewer boaters are around.

No one should want to see things escalate to the point where an incident with irrevocable consequences happens, and the recreational boaters should bear most of the responsibility for ensuring that doesn’t happen.

The bright side is there are plenty of interest groups that have taken an interest in solving issues such as those that happened on the waters last weekend.

Let’s hope they can find a solution sooner than later — one that keeps swimmers and boaters in the water, but those who abuse the privilege out of it.

Organizations: RCMP, Deer Lake Const.

Geographic location: Pasadena, Western Star

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  • A. Berry
    July 20, 2014 - 17:12

    In recent months, I have often considered returning to Newfoundland and the Corner Brook area where I was partially raised. As a child, I and many others distinctly dislike these kinds of tactics from others who ought to know the difference. It seems it still is a favorite past time of certain individuals. It also seems part of the population hasn't got a clue what good and unthreatening behavior toward others is especially in the water. Brains anyone?