2013-07-25 / Letters to the Editor

Paddleboard rentals open a can of worms

I was dismayed to read that there will be a rental enterprise at Mackerel Cove.

I don’t think having any commercial rental enterprise at the beach is a good idea.

Nothing against paddleboards, I just think it opens a can of worms: parking, signage, safety, crowding. On nice sunny Saturdays the beach is packed, and lots of people do use that end of the beach. Mackerel Cove is just too small.

There must be a lack of communication at the rec department. In last week’s Press, Mr. Piva was quoted as saying ”paddleboards do not interfere with swimmers or create safety problems.” Last Saturday while at Mackerel Cove for the day, I watched and listened as the lifeguards blew their whistles to keep several paddleboarders out of the swimming area. It was not just once, but several times during the day.

How can Mr. Piva predict that the new enterprise will not cause more problems? It seems local residents are aware of the paddleboard area, but not visitors. Perhaps there should be buoys in the water defining the area. Did anyone ask the lifeguards their opinion? Will they be responsible if someone goes out too far and can’t get back in and yells for help?

Police Chief Ed Mello said, “Paddleboard rentals do not pose any threat to public safety.” The act of renting does not pose a threat to public safety, but you can injure yourself or someone else while on a paddleboard. Whose insurance covers that?

The Hatches say this is an experi- ment, and if it works they would like to have rentals two days a week. If it doesn’t work out from the town’s perspective, can the permit be withdrawn? Is there an ordinance that limits the amount of entertainment permits allowed at the beach?

There is a big difference between renting equipment and bringing a personal paddleboard, kayak or surfboard to the beach.

Robin Monihan

Hamilton Avenue

Jamestown

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