Local beach lovers playing dangerous game with blue-green algae bloom
A potentially dangerous algae bloom has forced the closure of several beaches along Lake Erie.
But people continued to swim in the waters of Port Glasgow, despite the risk of exposure.
"They say it's like blue and green algae, but it's really just water. If I get affected by it I'll get over it and then likely go back in," says beach-goer Natalie Porter.
Many swimmers say the need to cool off is worth the risk.
"I'm going in, but just to my neck because i just got my ears pierced," says swimmer Sammy Clark.
But health units are warning people against swimming, wading and eating fish caught along a stretch of beaches between Port Glasgow and Chatham-Kent because of the blue-green algae.
Simply because the water looks clean, it doesn't mean that it is safe.
"It can release a toxin and this is what causes some of the health issues when it is ingested or when people come in contact with it. So I think these are cautions that people should be listening to," says Jim Reffle, manager of health protection programs for Elgin-St. Thomas Public Health.
But the oppressive heat seems to be trumping common sense, as swimmers risked coming down with nausea, skin rashes and infections.
"Some people get affected differently, other people don't get affected at all. So I guess everyone is just being daring and seeing what happens," says Porter with a smile.