Not a typ­i­cal day at the beach

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION -

This let­ter is to ad­dress some con­cerns I have with the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Salmon Cove Sands. On Aug. 29, I took my fam­ily to Salmon Cove Sands for a day at the beach. This sim­ple event soon took a dark turn when my 12-year-old son had a seizure while in the water.

I fran­ti­cally turned to my friends and the peo­ple on the beach for help. A kind gen­tle­man helped me bring my son out of the water with the aid of my friend. Once my son was safely on the beach, my friends then went to look for help from the park at­ten­dants. Un­for­tu­nately, this help was short in com­ing and very lack­ing in sup­port.

The at­ten­dants on staff that day were ill pre­pared for the emer­gency and at first would not al­low my friend ac­cess to the only beach road for her to take her ve­hi­cle in so my son could get off the beach.

Of three park at­ten­dants that did re­spond to her cry for help, the only one that would ride in her ve­hi­cle to the scene was an older wo­man — nei­ther of the two men would come to as­sist. An­other per­son was needed as my son had to be lifted from the beach to the ve­hi­cle (not an easy feat as he weighs ap­prox­i­mately 125 pounds and was dead weight at this point). Thank­fully, with the help of this older wo­man and my friends (all fe­male), we were all able to safely trans­port my son off the beach.

This whole or­deal has not only shaken me to my core, it has also pro­vided me in­sight to the lack of emer­gency pre­pared­ness, ser­vices and equip­ment of Salmon Cove Sands.

First, the only beach ac­cess road is a very rocky bike path and if the tide had been high, it would have been im­pos­si­ble for an emer­gency ve­hi­cle to ac­cess the beach. Se­condly, the only two life buoys on the beach are placed a fair dis­tance from the pop­u­lar swim­ming ar­eas. Fi­nally, I find it hard to ac­cept that the park at­ten­dants on staff that day did not re­act well to this emer­gency.

Do they have emer­gency First Aid/CPR train­ing? Is there a plan in place for emer­gen­cies? Is there an all-ter­rain ve­hi­cle or four-by-four ve­hi­cles on site to ac­cess the beach? Since the Salmon Cove Sands is charg­ing for ac­cess to the beach, does this mean that they are as­sum­ing li­a­bil­ity for their pa­trons?

My main rea­son for writ­ing this let­ter is to ad­dress these con­cerns of safety, not only for my chil­dren but for oth­ers who use this area. Let’s turn my fam­ily’s ex­pe­ri­ence into an op­por­tu­nity for a safer beach.

Lisa Cur­ran writes from Car­bon­ear

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