Family calls for legislation after drowning at unguarded beach

by Megan Gosch

After last week’s drowning at Cedar Lake, the family of 16-year-old Chiccena Carpenter is calling for legislation that would close all Minnesotan beaches not being watched by a lifeguard.

Carpenter drowned at Cedar Point Beach on Cedar Lake last Sunday, where there was no lifeguard present, reported the Star Tribune.  Carpenter was hospitalized after being pulled from the water, and died last Monday.

Minneapolis park officials told the Star Tribune that the beach was unguarded because of a lack of applicants with the Park and Recreation Board.

Dawn Sommers, a park board spokeswoman, said that it was unusual to have unfilled lifeguard positions and that the board has gone through a recruiting campaign to fill the remaining positions.

However, Red Cross officials have reported a steady number of applicants seeking lifeguard training.

While the Board is working to get lifeguards on beaches, Carpenter’s family is seeking further action in the form of legislation that would close all beaches that are not guarded, to prevent another tragedy.

Although Cedar Point Beach received a lifeguard on Saturday, the beach had never before been guarded.