Bala Falls is a dangerous part of Muskoka.
This is a dam, intended to hold back water and regulate water depths, as in spring and winter water can be high. The most recent storm raised our water depth by about 6" in a matter of hours.
Drowning is something that affects of of society. Some engage in dangerous behaviour around water, with little regard for the dangers.
- The reasons for drownings?
- water skiing without a spotter
- children swimming alone, or in dangerous water
- young males swimming in dangerous places (three in 2009)
- seniors swimming alone (a sector that is increasing due to demographics, and a stubborn independence!)
- inexperienced canoeists (two in 2008)
- inexperienced swimmers near a dam (one in 2008, two in 2009)
- Personal Watercraft (PWC) operators speeding or driving dangerously
- people unfamiliar with boats (bad enough)
- too many boats in a small area
- fishing drunk (even worse)
- boating drunk (the worst)
I am continually amazed at people who insist on their right to swim in Bala Falls. It is dangerous for many, especially strangers who do not know its history.
They ignore signs warning of fast water. Last year two men drowned trying to rescue a young girl swept away by the current.
Moon River is a beautiful spot to visit, but a dangerous one, too. The swift running water sweeps souls away in an instant. The undertow is powerful.
This dad was visiting the falls with his two preschoolers and a dog. It appeared that Grandma and Grandpa were up top with another dog.
We debated interfering, but they left shortly after. We were both relieved.
We welcome our tourists, and seasonal residents, but this is an accident waiting to happen.