Crews cleaned St. Malo’s beach of underwater weeds Tuesday, after the father of a drowned teen called on the province to make the beach safer.
On Monday, Mervin Dueck called on the province to clear the beach at St. Malo Provincial Park of weeds after his son drowned over the weekend.
Calvin Dueck had been swimming at the beach on Aug. 9 when he became tangled in weeds and drowned, according to his father Mervin.
“His feet got entangled in that, and as a result, he couldn’t swim properly,” said Mervin. “A certain amount of panic sets in, and he ended up drowning.”
Mervin said Calvin was an athlete and a strong swimmer and demanded the province take action and launch an inquiry into the beach’s safety.
“It’s difficult to take[that] a healthy, athletic person would drown because of seaweed,” he said. “We feel strongly that if it can’t be dealt with and it’s a hazard, there should be no swimming at the beach.”
On Tuesday, crews were ripping weeds out of the lake after Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh promised the family the beach would be checked out immediately.
Don Hallett, the regional parks supervisor for region, said Tuesday was the first time his crews have cleaned out underwater weeds at the request of a minister.
“We do inspections of our buoy lines at least twice monthly, or if we get a strong rain or something changes on the lake, then we’ll go out even more frequently,” said Hallett.
Calvin was swimming within the beach’s buoy lines when he drowned and was visiting the beach with a friend who was a lifeguard.