Mother of drowning victim wants to end swimming at Lake Tapps

Robert HarrisPolitics

Three drownings in 10 months -- and some are saying enough is enough on Lake Tapps.

The mother of one victim said Tuesday these deaths should be a wake-up call. She wants to end swimming on the lake altogether.

Marcus Henderson is the latest victim to drown in Lake Tapps. Known in the hip-hop world as Minnesota rap artist ‘fly’ Henderson, he had a loyal fan base and a bright future.

"He runs in the water, and his life is taken and that’s very, very sad,” said Tina Lombard.

She understands the pain too well. Her 17-year-old son, Robert Harris, drowned in Lake Tapps last September.

Since then, she has lobbied the city of Bonney Lake and Pierce County, which runs the park on the north side of the lake where Henderson died, to hire life guards.

"This is an unrealistic death. It could have been prevented,” Lombard said.

Since Lombard’s son died and before Henderson died last Saturday, another young man, 16-year-old Quentin Boggan, drowned on June 21.

Neither swimming area has lifeguards. Now Lombard wants swimming in the lake banned.

"If there’s an enormous number, an undue ratio people dying in that particular lake, then shut it off to swimming until they can figure it out,” Lombard said.

In spite of the danger, the Lake Tapps swimming area at Allan Yorke Park was still crowded with young swimmers Tuesday and Bonney Lake Mayor Neil Johnson Jr. said closing the lake to swimming just isn’t possible.

"For Allan Yorke Park, our park, it’s a public park paid for by the taxpayers it would be very hard to close that park off. So if we just shut down our park, Allan Yorke Park, there’s plenty of places for people to go swimming so the key is it is a public park,” Johnson said.

The mayor added that he has ordered new signs to warn of swimming dangers, and a new emergency phone that connects directly to 911 is on order and should be installed in about three weeks.

 

 

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