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Members of Bonney Lake Community Plead for Better Signage, Lifeguards on Lake Tapps

At the June 26 Bonney Lake council meeting, members of the community asked for more lake security at Lake Tapps to protect swimmers. Will it be enough to prevent future tragedies?

At the June 26 council meeting in Bonney Lake, the family of Quentin Boggan and their supporters asked the city for warning signs and lifeguards on Lake Tapps, to prevent such a devastating tragedy from happening again.

“It was up to Quentin’s best friends and his big brother – children – to try and save his life, and now they feel like they’ve failed,” said Sherrie Cinkovich, who spoke for the Boggan family. “There needs to be lifeguards on the lake, for however long the season lasts.”

Tina Lombard, a mother from Federal Way, spoke tearfully about the death of her son, Robert “Hurricane” Harris who died on the lake last September while attending a family barbeque.

“It took 22 minutes for someone to get to the lake. The police eventually did get there and drag him out, but if there was a floating dock, lifeguard or designated swimming area… There needs to be a rope saying ‘you can’t go beyond this,’” said Lombard. “If there is a risk of hypothermia in the water, there should be signage.”

In the wake of Boggan’s death, members of the community are prepared to host local fundraisers to pay for a sign to post at Allan Yorke Park to warn swimmers of the danger of drowning and honor Boggan’s memory.

Bonney Lake mayor Neil Johnson said that a sign at the park was the first thing that came to his mind after hearing about the tragedy.

“It won’t bring Quentin back, but it’s something the city will definitely do – it will come out of the Mayor’s budget, or wherever it has to,” said Johnson.

Lauren Padgett July 10, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Good ideas, Melissa. I was at the Park Board meeting last night and you spoke very well with some great insights and ideas. Thanks for sharing your concerns and observations with the community, for the greater good.
HDmay July 24, 2012 at 02:39 PM
RIP, Marcus Henderson (July 21, 2012) from Minnesota state. Home of 10,000 Lakes Was taken from the lives of many people here in Minnesota. How many people gave to die This is so ridiculous how council and community are trying to fight to keep it open. If this were my 20 year old A huge lawsuit would be happening Its not ok for so many people to have died there. It seems that money Hungary people are turning there backs to such a grave situation. Blaming them for their own deaths. How cruel and insulting. Council please consider draining the reservoir. How many more
Carla Ritchie July 24, 2012 at 06:23 PM
They are fighting to keep it open because thousands of people enjoy it - no different than driving a car, there are risks - you don't drive a car without training and knowing the risks of the particular area you are driving in, same as knowing the body of water you are swimming in. It is sad, but when there is water involved, people can drown, period. People even drown in swimming pools with lifeguards. It happens, and the city/county/state cannot be responsible for every body of water in the state. I don't know what the answer is, but taking away something tens of thousands of people have used for decades does not really seem the right thing to do. You can be mad at me for my opinion, but it might help if the county were to look into why so many can use the lake and not drown. Lake Tapps is HUGE - how are they supposed to guard the whole thing? As far as the money hungry comment, who is making money from people swimming in the lake?
Joanne July 24, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Totally agree with you Carla. We don't live on the lake, however, our daughter's have friends that do and have swam hundreds of times. They have taken swim lessons, have been educated about the lake - have to wear life vests. I will be signing them up for CPR and first aid courses this summer. Does all the above equate into something not happening while out on the lake - no, but they are equipped with the knowledge and some of the tools for being on the lake. Before anyone puts their foot in the lake or any body of water for that fact, they need to read up on it and know what they are about to swim in - sounds crazy, but every body of water is different and your body will not react the same way.
Carla Ritchie July 24, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Continued from above Statistically, in the US people still drown at lifeguard attended waters, as opposed to most at non guarded waters (due to several behavioral factors). Who is to say any of these would have been would have been saved with a lifeguard there? It is not like people DON'T drown with a lifeguard around, it is just much less likely. I don't know what the answer is, but shutting off all access to the lakes in our state when MOST people don't have an issue seems a little extreme. Minnesota is not a shining beacon for water safety, they are battling their highest drowning rate in a decade, at least one, possibly two of them were in areas with lifeguards. Lifeguards will NOT automatically safe your life, common sense and knowing your skill level and the waters you are in play a huge part in solving the issue. The US drowning statistics have been pretty static for the last ,many years - no one knows how to change it, because humans being human, accidents happen. http://www.cdc.gov/Features/dsDrowningRisks/

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