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Beachgoers, parents want more lifeguard oversight after 13YO boy found dead in Lake Erie

Posted at 6:15 PM, Jul 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-09 18:15:04-04

Beachgoers are raising questions after a 13-year-old boy vanished while swimming in Lake Erie on Friday.

Shaud Howell's body was recovered Sunday evening north of Perkins Beach. He went missing from Edgewater Beach Friday night, the same day the National Weather Service issued a beach hazards statement due to strong rip currents.

Now, some beachgoers say they want more oversight. Lifeguards at Edgewater Beach clock out at 7 p.m., leaving the public to swim alone and at their own risk.

On Monday, parents at the beach expressed the need for a change, especially after Shaud went under the water Friday night.

"Seven o'clock the sun is still up, there's lots of people still here swimming, so they should probably stay a little big longer," Erin Parks said, who was at the beach on Monday with her three kids.

Parks and other parents said overseeing swimmers at the beach can be tricky, because there are so many people in the water with different skill levels. That's why they feel more lifeguards covering more hours in the day is necessary.

Since October 2017, the Coast Guard said there has been more than 50 drownings in the Great Lakes. Shaud's death is just another reminder to parents on just how dangerous the water can be.

"You got to respect the water. You don't have to fear it, you have to respect it, and as long as you get the proper water safety, I think you'll be okay," Todd Green said, who was at the beach on Monday with his two sons.

News 5 reached out to the Metroparks to see if there are any plans to extend lifeguard hours or to add personnel. They responded in email saying, for now, everything will remain the same.