Sunday, 21 August 2016

Sadness At The Lake

Yesterday morning, I saw in the news that the second person in a week had drown in our lake. This is our 4th year at the lake, and the first summer we have had drownings. (The first drowning sounds like was a man with medical conditions who had some sort of serious medical problem when on a dock and fell in and drown). Several years ago someone died on a snowmobile on the lake (never driven one, jumped on, drove into a tree), but that was the only lake death.

Yesterday, they were looking for the body of a 21 year old man, who jumped into the lake just after midnight, couldn't swim back and his friends couldn't save him. As I was following the news story, I realized that they were looking for the body in the lake one street over from where we live - on my dog Hailey's favourite street to walk - the street we see across the field our our front window. If I hadn't slept in so late on Saturday (it is generally my one morning off dog duty), I likely would have walked down it and depending on which little side street we took (there are 3) we may have come across the recovery operation. I am surprised that with all the windows open and the way the sound echoes across the lake (we often hear parties) we didn't hear the sirens last night.

We didn't go down to the lake (I said I wouldn't go until the body was found), but we saw the rescue vehicles and news vehicles around. On our way to get groceries we passed and ambulance coming in, and on the way home, we passed it going out, followed by the police and news vehicles. We knew he had been found.

I am a little creeped out by how close this was. It was in an area we walk and kayak. I am not a stranger to drowning - I grew up on Lake Huron, people drowned every summer, but this felt really close.

I can see how easily this could happen, especially on our lake. It is small, 6.8 km (4.2 miles long). It is deep enough, but narrow. I am not a great swimmer but I think if I wanted to I could make my way across shore to shore in most parts (I would be afraid of getting hit by a boat more than not being able to do it). It doesn't get really wavy (some from the boats), there is no undertow. It looks so beautiful and easy and calm.

I imagine last night a group of young people, maybe who haven't grown up near lakes, so they did't understand the full danger, who likely had a few drinks thought this midnight swim would be fun. There was a beautiful full moon (we actually watched it rise over the hills as we sat out at my husband's birthday dinner at our favourite restaurant), and with the heat from the summer the lake is really warm. It would have been very inviting. But then something happened, and my beautiful, peaceful lake, claimed a life.

RIP cottager - may your tragic death be a reminder to others to take extra care when around water.

Our lake from our beach - the incident took place behind the point on the left

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry that happened, and to such a young person. When my Mom was the Sheriff that's the one job she hated as much as dealing with child abuse, the drownings. Water and alcohol don't mix, and fortunately as a teen, I heeded that lesson, though like any young person, I did like my beer now and then, just when I was safely inside with my female roommates.