Monday 31 May 2010

Moon River and Bala Falls

Moon River is a beautiful part of Muskoka.

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 statistics 2009

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)
EMS crews and Volunteer Services were called for 9 drownings in summer 2008. In 2009 we had 11 drownings.

Water Safety is a basic issue of importance at the cottage.

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.

Perhaps there should be a sign or a memorial to those who drowned there. The basic 'DANGER' signs are ignored.

All it would take is one little slip. Having had three kids, I know how quick they are!

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.

Tourist bring much-needed business to this small town. For that we are all grateful.


Cheryl Kohan said...

Some people have absolutely no common sense! It's sad but sometimes it takes a tragedy to make them think. This is a very timely post.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I used to live close to a lake near Houston, TX. People used to drown in it all the time including some acquaintances of mine who were fishing guides.

In my boat, everybody wore a life jacket, all the time. Even when it was 105 F in August. If they refused, I didn't invite them back.

Of the people who drowned in the lake. Not one of them was wearing a life jacket.

Fast water is even more dangerous and I, like you, am appalled about how people take risks.

EG CameraGirl said...

It's amazing how crazy some people can be!

Pearl said...

Some people have the belief that mortality is for other people...