An Open Letter to The Kids Swimming in the Dam at Tyler State Park
This weekend my boyfriend and I went to Tyler State Park. I've been wanting to go hiking for a while now, so we decided to make a day out of it and go adventuring. When we got there, we could not believe what we saw when a group of high schoolers went swimming in a restricted area. And I have a message for them:
As for the day itself, my boyfriend and I packed our sandwiches from Wawa, our frozen water bottles and headed out into the depths of Bucks County.
If you never been to Tyler State Park it's definitely a must-see. The place is not only beautiful, but it's huge. Despite the fact that the gnats were out in full force that day, we still had fun walking, exploring, climbing, and enjoying the beautiful weather.
Tyler State park surrounds Neshaminy Creek. The creek is about 40 miles long and runs throughout Bucks County. The scenic view from the park is breathtaking. We sat on boulders that overlooked a huge damn and ate our lunches there. The damn is located right next to the boathouse and makes for a great place to just sit back and take in Mother Nature.
Like any other dam: there is a huge sign that tells visitors that swimming, wading and boating is strictly prohibited. The sign is clear as day and is there for a reason. Dams can be extremely deadly, especially in bad weather conditions.
While my boyfriend and I were eating, a group of high schoolers came over and started taking off their clothes as if they were going swimming. And sure enough, that's exactly what they did.
We couldn't believe what we were seeing, and neither could the other people standing around watching. It was about 8 kids total diving, backstroking, and sliding all in the creek like they were at Six Flags. The kids were throwing's algae at each other and also tossing a football back and forth.
I looked around to see if anyone else was watching the same thing we were, and about 10 other visitors had their cameras out recording holding their breath as if waiting for something bad to happen.
In fact, I worry these kids aren't the only ones who do this sort of thing. I have to assume other locals do it too.
But did you know that 1.2 million people around the world die by drowning every year, that is more than two persons per minute? According to International Life Saving Federation, the vast majority of drownings occur in open water like the sea, lakes, ponds, rivers. And a lot of the time, these drownings happen in environments and during activities unsupervised by lifeguards.
Kenneth Smith, assistant director of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources' division of water explained how dangerous dams could be. "If there has been a large rainfall … they change from that scenic, peaceful place into something with a very violent reverse current that can trap somebody below the dam," he told the IndyStar after an accident in a dam in 2017.
So to the kids who were swimming in the dam Saturday and nearly gave me a heart attack, please think twice before ignoring obvious warning signs. Even though nothing tragic happened, there have been countless others who weren't as lucky.
I was a teenager once and I'm not trying to be a party pooper. But I wouldn't be able to live with myself if something bad had happened out there.
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