Not a typical day at the beach
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