New signs warn of dangers at Penfield Reef
FAIRFIELD — Spurred by the recent drowning deaths of two fishermen, new warning signs have been put at Penfield Reef.
“The Parks and Recreation Department worked collaboratively with DPW, Fire, Police, and Conservation to create and place the warning signs for the Penfield Reef area,” Recreation Director Anthony Calabrese said. “In light of the recent tragedies it seems to be necessary to remind visitors of the dangers the reef poses.”
The signs tell visitors that the sandbar at Penfield Reef floods twice each day, with strong currents and undertow. It warns people to not hike on the water-covered sandbar, and the warnings are repeated in Spanish.
Problems arise when people have walked out to the far end of the reef, and while out there, the tide starts to come back in, covering the sandbar behind them.
On Aug 19, four men from Yonkers, N.Y., went to reef to fish. One of the group was fishing from the beach, the other three from the reef, and they were swept into the water when the tide turned around 8 a.m. One man was rescued, the other two drowned.
Shortly after the signs were erected last week, one was stolen, police said. Calabrese said it will be replaced withing a day or two.
There’s a sign on the fence along the path that leads visitors to Penfield Reef that warns that the reef can be dangerous, but officials wanted to do more.
The tide can turn quickly, with the sandbar seemingly disappearing under the incoming tide and waders filling with water.