Near drowning at Long Lake raises questions about beach safety
Yellowknife, N.W.T. - A potential tragedy was averted Tuesday evening after a child almost drowned at Long Lake.
The incident raised questions about the safety at the popular beachfront area as there are no lifeguards present and a sign states that people who swim there do so at their own risk.
While the incident happened inside Yellowknife city limits, mayor Gordon Van Tighem said it's not the city's responsibility anymore, even though it was at one time.
"Somewhere around 1998 there was no more funding for it so we haven't been involved in it. As a territorial park it's under the purview of the Government of the Northwest Territories rather than the city."
His Worship said the city does employ five full-time and up to 25 part-time lifeguards, but they're not certified to work at beaches.
"Ours are all pool certified, so if resources were made available, I mean, there's an extensive pool of lifeguards there that somebody could get beach-certified and go to work if the opportunity presented itself."
A spokesperson from the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment said this was the first near-drowning at a beach in the NWT in several years.
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