Gibson Falls dangerous, warns fire chief
Warning comes on heels of another drowning
The Elgin fire chief is warning people about the dangers of Gibson Falls along the Pollett River after a drowning there earlier this week.
The body of a woman, reported to be in her mid-30s, was pulled from the water, off River Road, on Monday.
Fire Chief Garry Steeves, who was among those who responded to the 911 call, says the last time he retrieved a body from the area, it was in the same swimming hole.
"And I'm afraid it's going to happen many times again," Steeves told CBC News.
"We cannot get anyone to move in and take charge of this and try to do something about the safety of this river. It's pretty near impossible."
Steeves, who has been the fire chief for 28 years, says he’s been concerned about the falls since the beginning.
It’s a popular spot and many people, particularly visitors, don’t realize how dangerous it is, with slippery cliffs and a strong current, he said.
"But I'm sure there are answers and I would be willing to sit down with somebody and discuss what we can do and how we can shut it off," said Steeves.
"To me, I think it's getting way out of control."
The RCMP and local residents agree the Gibson Falls swimming hole is a hazard, and are also concerned.
Ruth Powers, who lives in the area, says teenagers and young adults use the remote area to party, leaving the RCMP and local fire department to deal with the consequences.
"What can they do? They're always the ones that are called out to these things and it's horrendous for these men to have to go out there and do this because they're putting themselves in danger," she said.
Police have identified the latest victim, thanks to help from the public. The woman's name is not being released while the investigation continues, Cpl. Christa Mitchell has said.