On Sunday August 7th, 2016, I had to go to Aylmer for a meeting, and I usually take
a scenic drive into Port Bruce. Along the road by the beach waterfront, I noticed
two official type workers putting up signs. The signs have an important message,
"No Lifeguards, Water safety is your responsibility". Well, I thought, this is new,
this must be a reaction, to all the recent drowning's across Ontario this summer,
and, is just a simple solution to shift responsibility from the owners of the property.
But are a few signs with the message "No Lifeguards, Water safety is your responsibility",
going to stop someone from going swimming on a beautiful, hot, and humid day. The
beach was really busy that day, and I don't think anyone really paid much attention
to the signs, other then to think "more stuff on the beach to walk around".
I think the real question is, how do we stop the terrible tragedies that seem to
happen randomly, anytime, anyplace, to people simply out to enjoy the water. Even
on a Blue Flag beach where Lifeguards are present, rough water conditions can occur
that can create situations that can get experienced swimmers into trouble. And what
about the people using the beach before the Lifeguards are on duty, and after. I
just don't think that there is any easy answer like a few signs with the message
"No Lifeguards, Water safety is your responsibility", that is going to stop terrible
tragedies from happening.