Euclid Beach drowning draws concerns about lifeguards, sign

CLEVELAND -- Police say Bryce Canady, 15, of Cleveland Heights, was at Euclid Beach Park with a group of people Sunday afternoon and got into trouble in about 10-12 feet of water.

That's when Kelly Walker, 34, of Cleveland, jumped in to save him.

Both of them drowned in an area that is completely unmanned by lifeguards.

"I'm sick of it," said Donald Nichols, who lives nearby. "Who do you blame? Something can be done about this."

After hearing two people drowned here, Nichols came by Monday to say a prayer for the victims. He's lived near the beach for 15 years and says the story is getting old.

"It's crazy, every year you go through this," said Nichols. "A couple of kids drown here each year and people keep coming but people have to be more responsible about their kids in the water. That water is very tricky. There's a lot of undercurrents, there's a lot of drop offs."

"This lake here, it's got a lot of these deep places and people don't always realize it," said beachgoer Suzanne Robinson. "They have signs that show you what to do and what not to do."

The signs say "Swim at your own risk" and that "underwater drop-offs are present," but some feel these signs are not enough.

"They should have at least four or five lifeguards, one at every rocky area on the lake," said Nichols.

Not only does Nichols want lifeguards here, but more signs in the water.

"Those signs aren't visible unless you walk right up on them," he said. "They should put signs up where those drop-offs are at. Put signs up saying 'do not swim beyond this point.'"

He feels most people don't take the time to read the signs out in front of the beach and that, if there were signs in the water or even on the rocks, some of the drownings could be prevented.

"We would love to stop this death rate every summer," he said.

"Hopefully, this'll be the last one,' said Robinson.

The Cleveland Metroparks released the following statement regarding the drowning:

"Cleveland Metroparks is saddened by the losses of life that occurred at Euclid Beach yesterday. We extend our condolences to the families and friends of Kelly Walker and Bryce Canady.

The Park District continues to take action to monitor and review safety by posting signs that inform the public of safety considerations such as rip currents, drop-offs and water quality issues present at Euclid Beach. It's important to note that this is an unguarded beach, and signs posted year-round clearly warn visitors that no lifeguards are present.

It is imperative that everyone remain vigilant regarding water safety. Cleveland Metroparks will further study Euclid Beach as soon as our investigation of this incident is complete."

Follow Wale Aliyu @WaleAliyu


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