False signals from lifeguard station 28
One of the common sense rules that are told to visitors to our beaches is that you should only go into the ocean in front of a lifeguard station. Starting about three years ago, the city has, during the summer months only, brought in lifeguard station 28. It sits right in the front of the parking lot at Tourmaline Surfing Park.
It seems like a good idea, except that there is no swimming or wading allowed at Tourmaline because it is a surfing-only beach. However, with a lifeguard station there, it is a signal to visitors that it is okay to go in the water. So the lifeguard stationed there spends most of his (or her) time running back and forth telling people to get out of the water.
It is very dangerous because Tourmaline is the place to go to learn to surf. Those new surfers do not have good control over their surfboards and can run down someone in the shallow part of the water. Someone swimming where there is surfing going on is asking to get hit in the head.
I asked the lifeguard why they put a lifeguard station at Tourmaline. He said it was because the average age of surfers at Tourmaline was so high they are worried about surfers having heart attacks in the water.