SALEM, Conn. (WTNH) -- Free park admission, jet skis and swimming outside the designated areas are some of the problems park officials are up against at Gardner Lake. Concerned residents say more supervision is needed at the lake in Salem.
Boaters and swimmers are getting too close for comfort for many who use Gardner Lake.
"They're usually out in front of the boat launch and everything on rafts," said boater Frank Goodrich. "So going in and out you have to kind of keep an eye on them."
News 8 stopped by the Salem hot spot to see what has some so concerned and we saw lots of folks outside the designated swimming area, which extends less than half the length of the beach and there's no lifeguard there.
"Your daughter's actually swimming outside the swimming area," said News 8's Tina Detelj.
"Well I'm right here, she's a good swimmer," said Christine Onorati. "It's not too bad. A lot of people don't even listen to the rules."
Bob Neddo says people have been hurt and someone was killed 20 years ago. He once came close to hitting a diver who didn't have a warning flag near him.
"I was on water skis years ago and did not see him until I was looking at him over the side," said Neddo, Gardner Lake Authority.
It's swimmers like that who are out further into the lake which are causing the most concerns. The lake has become a lot more popular with swimmers as well as boaters with that new boat ramp, so signs may not be enough.
DEEP tells News 8, "we are stepping up patrols of the lake by our park staff and Environmental Conservation officers."
However, we dug deeper calling DEEP back asking about extending the swimming area. We learned that is also being considered.
Ever since a new ramp was put in more boaters have come.
"They should be taking a little more responsibility for what they put there," Neddo said.
Neddo hopes changes are made before one of the swimmers is hurt.
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