Prohibited areas are popular swimming spots in Springfield

Off-limits swimming areas can be a safety risk

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – More and more people are using illegal, or “unsanctioned swimming areas in this hot weather.

Without lifeguards and sometimes located in secluded areas, illegal swimming spots can pose a serious safety risk.

With school out and temperatures soaring, more people are taking a dip outside of designated swimming areas. After a 17-year-old died after jumping from a train trestle over Watershops pond last month, parents said they’re hoping their kids will be safe this summer.

Katherine Platt said, “My children’s friends knew him. I’m hoping they would be more cautious about it because it was a sad issue.”

There is a designated swimming area with lifeguards at Springfield’s five mile pond, but when 22News news got there, we found people swimming in an area where “No Swimming” signs were posted. Swimmers said despite the risk, they prefer swimming in the prohibited areas.

Ibanelys Pons said, “It’s free for parking and we can come here anytime we want.”

Osnaisy Ventura told 22News, “If you’re risking coming to a place where there’s no lifeguard, that’s all on you. So you have to make sure you’re paying attention.”

The Springfield Parks Department lists swimming outside of designated areas as punishable by a fine of $50, with fines as high as $300 for repeated violations.