CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – More young people in western Massachusetts are recognizing the dangers of unsupervised swimming in areas where there are no life guards.
Not too long ago teenagers would jump from the railroad trestle into the Holyoke Canal near the Willimansett Bridge, but this summer police have gotten few, if any, complaints about kids swimming near the trestle.
Young people feel more comfortable swimming in supervised areas such as the Chicopee state pool. Jeffrey Phelan of Springfield said, “It’s safer here in the pool than being over in Holyoke where it’s dangerous. Kids can get injured from jumping off a rock.”
Nor is the Deerfield River at the Stillwater Road Bridge in South Deerfield as popular a non-supervised swimming area as in year’s past.
Mark Wosolowski of South Deerfield grew up swimming here. He wouldn’t recommend today’s kids coming here. “I think a lot of it is the waste. I think a lot of people leave their waste here, broken bottles, people don’t want to go swimming down here barefoot, afraid you might cut your feet.”
As a result many of today’s young people have forgone the adventure of an unsupervised swim in favor of a lifeguard’s protection, and the other safety factors that come with supervision.