Bonney Lake residents want safety improvements at Lake Tapps beaches

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by NATALIE SWABY / KING 5 News

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KING5.com

Posted on July 28, 2012 at 6:43 PM

BONNEY LAKE, Wash. -- There have been some deadly days on the water in Pierce County this year. Three people have drowned so far.

Two of the tragedies happened at Lake Tapps, which is surrounded by several cities, including Bonney Lake. Residents in Bonney Lake want safety improvements.
 
Saturday afternoon, Deborah Hanan watched her three grandkids closely as they played at Lake Tapps. Hanan, who is visiting from Oregon, was told by her family about the recent drowning accidents in the notoriously cold waters of the big lake.
 
"You definitely can not take your eyes off them," said Hanan, who stood close to the water's edge as the kids swam.
 
A white cross with the initials Q.B. was floating near the spot where 15-year-old Quentin Boggan drowned last month. Losing Quentin, led his parents and community members to attend a recent Bonney Lake city council meeting where they said they wanted lifeguards at Lake Tapps.
 
"It would have made a big difference. My son would probably be here right now," said Lawrence Boggan, Quentin's father.
 
Despite calls for change, there is still no lifeguard on duty. Bonney Lake's Mayor, Neil Johnson, told King 5 that there is no plan to hire lifeguards this Summer.
 
"It won't happen this Summer because there's a lot of processes that you have to put in place before you can put the program together," said Mayor Johnson.
 
Johnson said, there is not time to hire and train lifeguards for this swim season. He added that it is an issue that the council needs to discuss.
 
In the meantime, the city does plan on making signs that read "No Lifeguard on duty - Swim at your own risk" more visible by changing the color to a reflective orange. Extra floatation devices are available at Allan Yorke Park.
Mayor Johnson said, he wants to add high-tech signs that tell park visitors the temperature of the water, install emergency phones, and have temporary city employees take CPR training. Additionally, he is working on ways to provide important safety information to the public about Lake Tapps. 

Adding two to three lifeguards would cost the city somewhere between $60,000 to $90,000, according to the mayor's estimates. Bonney Lake's Public Safety Committee will talk about the changes and the request for lifeguards at an August 7th meeting.
 
The city plans to eventually have a memorial sign for Quentin Boggan near the lake.

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