In bad times, around 30 people were rescued from dangerous waters off Long Beach. In a good year, there are around at least 8 rescues near Lovekin Rock. It was the area where Ann Wittenberg, a 52-year old Ottawa woman drowned on the wedding day of her daughter. It was also the same site where a 27-year old male student from India died while surfing.
One of the locals including Palfrey urges the reinstatement of the Long Beach lifeguard tower. This was removed by Parks Canada during budget limitations back in 2012.
The Long Beach lifeguard tower is positioned close to Lovekin Rock, right in front of the steady rip plaguing the site. It is equipped with a jet ski, rescue vehicle, surfboards and first aid gear.
At present, there are only bilingual signs warning visitors about the dangerous currents and those that flow around Lovekin Rock.
Victoria Emon was preparing for her wedding at Wickaninnish Inn’s Shell Beach when her mother, Wittenberg and sister went to Long Beach.
They were excited to go on surfing. They were floating on a surfboard and talking when the current came over. Wittenberg was dragged down into the water but Rachel was able to remain on board and asked for help. Several people quickly rushed to help.
After her mother was dragged back into the shore, CPR was performed and the paramedics took over and transported her to a healthcare facility but she did not make it.
According to Bill Fend, owner of Long Beach Surf Shop, the staff members provide a standard set of warnings to customers. Even if you are a strong swimmer, there are elements that might be present. It usually takes 20 minutes for emergency response to arrive at Long Beach, though locals in the water generally respond faster.
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Learn how to help by enrolling in a first aid and CPR class and for more information, check out these sources: