In a double dose of good news from Boise Parks, the water at Esther Simplot Park is safe for swimming at both ponds as of this morning AND a cooperative private-public effort has made life vests available.
The GUARDIAN had called for lifeguards at Quinn’s Pond following the tragic drowning death of a young refugee boy. Parks Director Doug Holloway had told us there were no plans for lifeguards and there were signs advising to “swim at your own risk.”
Yesterday Boise Parks, the nearby outdoor water sports retailer, Boise Fire Dept., St. Luke’s Hospital and the YMCA joined forces to make a whole bunch of life vests available. While none of the entities would endorse the GUARDIAN call for lifeguards, the idea of swimming lessons and the safety flotation are a move in the right direction.
KTVB TV-7 has a detailed report touting the city’s efforts.
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Aug 18, 2017, 9:01 am
Mr. Guardian… the quantity of life jackets, and perhaps the locations where they are available may have expanded of late, but there have been life jackets available at the edge of the pond since at least last year. On a rack right behind the Water Sports business, and next to the “beach.” I can remember being mildly amused last winter, when the pond was frozen over with a foot of snow (and a discarded Christmas tree and some geese) on top of the snow… and 3 or 4 life jackets available on the rack. (Year-round!)
I’ll have to respectfully disagree on the notion of lifeguards (unless they are “Baywatch” lifeguards. ha!)… for the following reasons:
1) Staffing and logistics. It’s a big pond. How many lifeguards, and where? Would it be dawn-to-dusk staffing? Would the pond be “closed” at other times? Would they have some righteous jet-skis, to reach people who swam out too far?
2) Who would pay? Or would they be volunteers… like my fellow geezers who putt up and down the Greenbelt in golf carts? (Our city taxes are high enough already – wouldn’t you agree?)
3) Precedent. If there are lifeguards at Quinn’s, why not at Parkcenter Pond? Boise Cascade Lake (behind Veteran’s Park)? Up and down the river? How about the canals that people are drowning in, all the time?
4) The libertarian in me says we don’t need more government, and people need to accept responsibility for the choices they make. Playing in the water (or taking a bath in your tub) has some inherent risks. If you don’t want to accept those risks, choose a different activity.
It’s a shame that the young immigrant fella drowned… but no more so than toddlers who fall into canals, etc.
EDITOR NOTE–Your points are well taken, but Quinns is the only pond in town that encourages and allows swimming. You will note there were not enough jackets as evidenced by the empty hooks at the kiosk. Additional jackets/vests are a good move. Given your logic, why have lifeguards at the city pools? Granted, Quinn’s is bigger, but it gets more visitors too.