To the Editor:
Let’s hope the tragic drowning of a 25-year old Providence man swimming off of Brenton State Park will serve as a wake up call to the Rhode Island DEM. The DEM says that diving off of 12 O’Clock High is illegal, but the law is not enforced. They have posted a few signs warning diving is illegal, but it would be easy for the signs to be unintentionally missed or deliberately ignored. Why not have physical barriers preventing people from illegal diving? Why not patrol the area regularly and enforce the laws?
Brenton State Park has turned into a free for all, with drinking, drug use, littering, smoking, overnight camping, jaywalking, trespassing, and reckless swimming/ diving regularly occurring without any state intervention. And it’s outside of city jurisdiction so the Newport Police Department can’t be blamed, and shouldn’t be burdened with expensive and dangerous rescue efforts that wouldn’t be necessary in the first place if the DEM took proper action. It’s time the state put adequate resources toward enforcing basic safety laws at Brenton State Park, just as they do at the state beaches.