AVON LAKE, Ohio - The latest drowning at an Avon Lake beach has some residents asking if the area should remain open.
Two people drowned this at Miller Road Park beach this summer, including the death of a man Monday night. The newest signs warning swimmers about hidden dangers lurking in the water went up just 10 days ago.
Avon Lake police said 34-year-old Michael Foreman, of North Olmsted, drowned swimming in Lake Erie Monday. It's the eighth drowning there in 15 years and the second in just more than a month.
The man who drowned in July was swimming in a restricted area, where there is a sudden drop-off and water is discharged from the nearby electric plant, which creates strong currents. Warning signs have been in the water for years.
Foreman was in an area where swimming is allowed, but was by himself. This latest drowning prompted Avon Lake Mayor Greg Zilka to hold an emergency meeting with safety leaders.
The question being raised by some residents: should Miller Park Beach be closed like it was 15 years ago?
"Even though we had it fenced off years ago, we had people climbing over the fence. We had drownings even when the beach was closed so the determination was why don't we open the beach and maybe we can create a safer environment," Zilka said.
As summer winds down Zilka offered this advice.
“Anytime you go in the water, you take a risk. Enjoy the water, but be cautious and make sure you keep track of people in the water because you never know what can happen in Lake Erie," Zilka said.
Zilka said safety forces will put together a report about the drowning-related deaths and present concerns at a future city council meeting. But he said he expects the issue to come up at the next council meeting on Aug. 20.
Miller Road Park has no life guards because it's not in the budget, according to Zilka
Zilka points out most of the drowning deaths have happened in the restricted area or danger zone, and life guards are trained not to enter that space anyhow.
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