Lake education needed after drowning at Port Franks, says local mayor
PORT FRANKS, ONT. -- Some residents of Port Franks, Ont. are calling for more water safety signage on their private beach after a recent drowning.
In the past few days, a homemade sign stating "Caution Strong Undertow" has been placed on the walkway to the beach.
Although there is a sign that states it is private property and there is a dangerous undertow possible, ‘it doesn't catch the attention people who want to head to the water’ according to Danica, a Port Franks resident.
A Brampton, Ont. resident drowned Aug. 29 after she entered the water with a friend on a day when the waves were rough.
The Port Franks Beach Homeowners Association (PFBHA) expresses sadness about the drowning and are in favour of beach education and safety. Residents tell CTV News there was recently another close call.
"We are frustrated that people are ignoring the signs," says Daryl Debenham, president of the PFBHA, which manages the beach. He says he plans to meet with fellow association members soon and they will be “talking about refreshing the signs."
“I’m all for beach education,” he says.
Sign seen on Port Franks Road
The beach is not owned by the Municipality of Lambton Shores, however a new digital sign has been placed on Port Franks Road, telling the public that it is a private beach and there is no public access allowed.
That hasn't stopped tourists though.
Mayor Bill Weber says he's open to a discussion with the PFBHA about 'how we can educate and keep the public safe.'
Weber is also saddened by the recent tragedy. "We'd need to educate people on the power of Lake Huron when storms are bad," says Weber. "That power is certainly something that needs to be respected."
Weber says one of the reasons that Grand Bend's main beach is so popular is because of the amount of lifeguards that are stationed, as well as the blue flag designation.
-With files by Kathy Rumleski, CTV London