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-----------_\ABERGELE & PENSARN…




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CLERK TO THE COUNCILS STATEMENT. AN INTERESTING INTERVIEW. Having regard for the statement made by the coroner that he had previously warned the local authority to put up a warning notice at this spot one of our Colwyn Bay representatives inter- viewed Mr James Amphlett, solicitor-clerk to the Urban District Council, in order that our readers might also have the Council's case before them. I have no authority, said Mr Amphlett, at the outset, to make any statement as directly emana- ting from the Council. Speaking personally, however, I may say that the Council have had the question of bathing very prominently before them, and they have done all they can within reason to prevent accidents. It is quite certain that in regard to that observation by the coroner it should have no weight at all. He was speak- ing in absolute ignorance of the circumstances. Simply because there happens to have been about three drowning accidents at this place in about 40 years he has apparently come to the con- clusion that the whole beach is dangerous. Of course, any part of the beach is dangerous if a person who cannot swim goes out of his depth 'or if one who can swim goes too far out to be able to return to the shore. People should look before they leap, but if people go into the sea without, any knowledge whatever of the place— as unfortunately appears to have been the case in this instance-they naturally run a risk which no amount of vigilance on the part of the authorities can meet with any effect. If this unfortunate young man, whose sad death we all naturally deplore very much, had bathed in the proper bathing place either at Colwyn Bay, Old Colwyn, or Rhos-on-Sea on this occasion there would have been plenty of people about to help him, and there would not have been the same conditions for him to fight against in the form of currents. Young fellows who come to camp in various parts of our extensive district get up at all sorts of hours in the morning, go to bathe quietly when there are few if any people tVout, with the sea running high and, without consult- ing anybody, they frequently make straight for the first spot available. No power on earth can save a person who gets into difficulties under such circumstances. WHEN VIGILANCE BOATS ARE USELESS. "Vigilance boats were mentioned," remarked the interviewer. Under given conditions, was the reply, vigilance boats are all very weli, very excellent things, I have no doubt. But say we had some here, I doubt very greatly whether this young fellow would have escaped with his life. You see, to make a system of that kind of any use what- ever on our beach—having particular regard for the recklessness of individuals who plunge into the sea anywhere without making any inquiries —we would have to employ scores of boats to constantly patrol the whole of the coast in the urban district. A man and a boat—even if one man could perform the work satisfactorily—would cost perhaps E2 a week, so that if we were to employ the number of boats that might be of some use the work would become very expensive even if they were employed during the holiday -season only. I don't say for a moment that the expenditure of JB40 per week, say, would be too great a price for one life, but I cannot see that, though the Council went to that expense, it would be justified because it would not ensure "perfect safety." To attain perfect safety, having re- gard for the thoughtlessness of people, under any conditions would be practically absolutely im- possible. DROWNING UNKNOWN UNDER PROPER BATHING CONDITIONS. Continuing, Mr Amphlett said: If people bathed in the orthodox manner it would be abso- lutely impossible to get drowned at Colwyn Bay. There is not a single instance of a fatal accident at Colwyn Bay where the bather was bathing 1n the proper manner in the proper bathing ground at proper bathing hours. Some time ago two servant girls got up very early in the morn- jing, and while no ono was about they went into the water when it was very rough. They were washed away, and it would have been quite impossible to save such an accident wherever it might occur, because even the men in charge of patrol boats want a certain amount of sleep. The Interviewer: It would, however, be possible to warn strangers of the danger of bathing in certain spots? Mr Amphlett: In reference to that point I should like to say that that part of the shore where this accident occurred is not within the jurisdiction of the Council because it is leased to Mr William Horton, whose consent would be necessary before any notices could be placed there. Personally I am of opinion that it would be a mistake to fix up any such warning boards for it would at once damn the good reputation of this place for the safety of its bathing facili- ties. NO LETTER FROM THE CORONER. Haa the coroner addressed a letter to the Coun- cil on this matter? I can recall no communication from him, and we certainly have no record of it on our books. Did he not write three years ago calling the Council's attention to the accident to two girls at this spot, and urging the Council to fix up warning boards? No; we had no such letter. The Deputy Clerk (Mr Jos. II. Roberts), who was present during the interview, interposed with the remark that so far as he could remember the coroner made some observations art the in- quest on the two girls, and, as a member of the Council happened to be the foreman of the jury at the time, it was just possible that the coroner had taken it for granted that that gen- tleman would have brought the matter up at the next Council meeting. Mr Amphlett: In any event it would be the duty of the coroner under such circumstances to communicate with the Council directly through the regular channels. As I said before, I do not think personally that any weight can be at- tached to what is said by the coroner for this district.