Lorain Century Park drowning has city leaders examining Lake Erie beach safety

Great Lakes experts: more lifeguards are needed
Posted at 11:31 PM, Jul 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-07 06:29:55-04

The July 4 drowning of 20-year-old Christopher Recznik at Century Park in Lorain now has city leaders looking at Lake Erie beach safety.

Lorain Safety Service Director Dan Given says his team will examine safety procedures at Century Park, where there are no lifeguards on duty.

Given is now urging residents to travel a few miles further down the Lake Erie coast to Lakeview Park where lifeguards are stationed during regular swimming hours.

RELATED: Authorities recover body of missing swimmer following drowning at Century Park

David Benjamin with the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project says Great Lakes drownings are on pace to exceed last year's total of 99.

Benjamin said more lifeguards are desperately needed throughout the Great Lakes, along with greater swimming training and awareness concerning the actual dangers of swimming at your own risk.

"People do not know that drowning is the leading cause of accidental death," said Benjamin. "They do not know drowning is a neglected public health issue. They do not know that 80 percent of drowning victims are male."

Benjamin pointed to the high cost of search and recovery efforts after a drowning and believes spending dollars for Great Lakes lifeguards would save more lives and could actually be less of a financial burden to taxpayers.

Meanwhile, the Lorain County Coroner continues to investigate the cause of the Century Park drowning. Toxicology reports in the case could take another three weeks.