Chocolate Lake near-drowning sparks lifeguard schedule concerns
City says it will review timing once the season is over
A near-drowning at a popular Halifax lake this week has some swimmers asking for lifeguards on duty past 5 p.m.
It was just after 5 p.m. on Thursday when a 20-year-old man nearly drowned in Chocolate Lake off Herring Cove Road.
Witnesses say the man was diving and swimming when he did not surface.
Off-duty lifeguards rushed back to save him and had to administer CPR.
On Friday evening, Peggy Watts took a dip at the lake.
The lifeguards were gone.
“I left work at five o'clock so that's when the lifeguards leave. There are families still here, people on their own like me. It would be nice to have lifeguards on until, say 7 p.m.,” she said.
Fellow swimmer Curtis Karrel agrees. He suggests extending the schedule for four weeks of the year.
“For the peak summer weeks," he said.
JenNagle, an aquatics specialist with Halifax Regional Recreation and Culture, says the city will review lifeguard schedules at the end of the season.
“We've definitely looked at our hours over the years and we've come to the conclusion that 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. is when our beaches are the most populated. Our lifeguards work before that teaching lessons and that's a long day for them, so to extend it any later would really take away their focus and their concentration as well,” she said.
Nagle recommends swimming when there’s a lifeguard on duty.