Swimming dangers in local rivers and ponds

Hampden County

WILBRAHAM, Mass. (WWLP) – Sunday was another hot June day in western Massachusetts and while taking a dip in a local pond or river may sound like a good idea, there are some places where swimming is illegal and dangerous.

Many people like cooling off in the Chicopee River in Wilbraham off of Red Bridge Road when it gets hot out, despite the fact that there are signs posted that say swimming and boating are not allowed.

There are “no swimming” signs posted around the Chicopee River in Wilbraham due to the river’s current, which can be very strong. The Wilbraham Fire Department was called to this location for two drownings last summer. 

Two Saudi college students drowned last June while attempting to save children who were caught in the current. The Wilbraham Fire Department told 22News the current is just too dangerous, and no one should risk their life swimming in the Chicopee River. 

“The current can be very deceiving,” Jeff Kristek, firefighter paramedic for the Wilbraham Fire Department said.

“You may not be able to tell just by looking at it how fast the current is, especially with the large amount of rain we had this spring. A lot of people overestimate their swimming ability until they realize they can’t swim against the current.”

Kristek told 22News swimming in ponds can also be dangerous, since they tend to be shallow and have a lot of debris. 

He recommends only swimming in areas that have a lifeguard and are designated for public use.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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