CLEVELAND — Authorities have released the names of two people who died in Lake Erie at Euclid Beach Park on Sunday afternoon.
Shortly after 4:15, panic set-in along the shoreline when Bryce Canady, 15, of Cleveland Heights began struggling in the water. According to authorities, Kelly Walker, 34, of Cleveland jumped in the lake to help but they both died. They were unable to make it back to land at the unguarded swim area where signs warn people to swim at their own risk.
“You sort of take a risk when it says it’s unguarded and to go in and help someone, that’s a wonderful good deed – and it is very sad,” said Pat Huber from Mentor.
According to a spokesperson for the Cleveland Heights University Heights City Schools, Bryce was a student in the high school and he also had an older and younger sibling in the district. They are considering a plan to have grief counselors available to students when they return to school next week.
“Sad, you know, that’s the only thing I can say, it’s very, very sad,” said Cleveland resident Donal Nichols. “Each year, we go through the same thing about these kids and this water. People misjudge this water, this lake is a very dangerous thing.”
Nichols lives near the beach and said it’s time for a change. While some Cleveland Metroparks beaches have lifeguard, they are not stationed at Euclid Beach.
“They definitely do [need them], definitely,” said Nichols. “We could curb some of these deaths, I mean, this is ridiculous.”
On Sunday, the Metroparks spokesperson said the incident was under investigation. “It is a swim-at-your-own-risk beach and there are warnings up that caution people about rip tides and currents, again, it was an unguarded beach,” said Sue Allen.
In a statement on Monday, the spokesperson said, “Cleveland Metroparks is saddened by the losses of life that occurred at Euclid Beach yesterday. We extend our condolences to the families and friends of Kelly Walker and Bryce Canady.
The Park District continues to take action to monitor and review safety by posting signs that inform the public of safety considerations such as rip currents, drop-offs and water quality issues present at Euclid Beach.
It’s important to note that this is an unguarded beach, and signs posted year-round clearly warn visitors that no lifeguards are present. It is imperative that everyone remain vigilant regarding water safety. Cleveland Metroparks will further study Euclid Beach as soon as our investigation of this incident is complete.”
On May 31st, a father of four jumped in the water at Huntington Beach in Bay Village to help a 16-year-old girl. She survived but he didn’t make it out alive. Huntington Beach has lifeguards but they weren’t on duty at the time.
“It would be great to have a lifeguard at every beach and if it was affordable and possible, that would be wonderful,” according to Huber, who said Euclid Beach is usually an ideal location along the lake. “I just enjoy it, it’s beautiful – it’s right by the lake, it’s usually very peaceful.”