Cabot Beach Provincial Park opens to swimmers after a year

·2 min read
Cabot Beach opened to swimmers at 10 a.m. on July 30. (Jane Robertson/CBC - image credit)
Cabot Beach opened to swimmers at 10 a.m. on July 30. (Jane Robertson/CBC - image credit)

Cabot Beach Provincial Park is open to swimmers for the first time since June 2020.

The beach had been closed for swimming because dredging had created dangerous currents with the potential to pull swimmers into the path of fishing boats trying to reach nearby Malpeque Harbour.

"It unfortunately was in very close proximity to our supervised area and as a result, as we approached low tide, the outflowing current through the boat channel posed a very big danger to swimmers," said Matthew Smith, P.E.I.'s provincial life guard co-ordinator.

"It was moving so fast that we were also very concerned for our lifeguards there. We also want to keep in mind the safety of our staff, not only those patrons at the beach."

An assist from Mother Nature

This year, the federal Fisheries Department dredged in a location farther away from the beach, but the water wasn't safe for swimming until recent stormy weather.

"While there has been the unfortunate side of some poor weather so far this year, it did some good things at Cabot by filling in the channel from last year, making it a much safer spot," Smith said.

"With the way that things got dredged this year and the way sand was placed, we were able to see, with Mother Nature's assistance, the sand get relocated into where it wants to be."

It's hard to predict if such an issue would arise again, Smith said. P.E.I.'s coastlines are very dynamic, and beaches must be monitored constantly.

"Many Islanders, I'm sure, have seen throughout the years as we get severe weather storms in the winter, in the summer, it can change the location of our sandbars and our coastline. So, we're continually monitoring Cabot Provincial Park and all of the provincial parks."

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