Trouble signs: Warnings on Lake Mohegan swim dangers ignored
Updated 6:17 pm, Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Signs warning of swimming dangers at the northern end of Lake Mohegan -- some of them newly installed after a child's drowning death -- have not stopped people from swimming in the prohibited area.
A little over a week ago, a family was seen swimming in the same spot where 10-year-old Catherine Perez Trujillo drowned last July.
"That part of the lake is extremely hazardous," Deputy Police Chief Chris Lyddy said. "There's a shelf that falls off, extremely quickly, and it's just a few feet from shore."
Lyddy said officers are told to make frequent stops at the lake to check for illegal activities, including swimming outside the designated beach area.
Anyone caught swimming at the northern end of the lake faces a $99 fine for violating a town ordinance, the deputy chief said.
Warning signs in both English and Spanish were posted in the wake of Perez' death, both in the parking lot near an entrance to the open-space property and near the trails along the northern end near the site of the drowning.
Lyddy reiterated that people should swim only in the southern end of the lake, where there is a beach monitored by lifeguards.
Perez was swimming with three other young relatives when they all began struggling, according to reports at the time.
Her mother, Camelia Trujillo, and other relatives went into the water to try to rescue the children, but Perez slipped out of her grasp and sank beneath the surface of the murky water near the Cascades.
The water in the area where Perez was found can be as deep as 60 feet.
The 17-acre lake was created in the aftermath of a gravel-mining operation on the property.
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