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Signs warn swimmers about Hagg Lake's deadly drop-offs
Washington County officials have added clearer warning signs to both the Sain Creek Picnic Area and Boat Ramp C at Hagg Lake.
The four signs state WARNING and Sudden drop offs with a clear drawing of someone falling over a drop-off in the water.
Those three ingredients were missing from the countys previous signs, which simply featured a life vest and the words Wear It (Uselo) but no explanation of why non-swimmers should wear a life vest even if theyre just planning to wade in shallow water.
The floor of Hagg Lake drops off suddenly in certain spots, including the popular Sain Creek swimming area, due to underwater cliffs of 10 to 15 feet. People who have no experience in lakes with drop-offs expect the ground to continue its gradual downward slope and are surprised when they step from relatively shallow water to over-their-heads.
An iPhone video taken by one of four family members who drowned together at Sain Creek in August 2014 shows her children and grandson playing in shallow water, according to a sheriffs deputy, but also very close to a
dark area that indicates deep water.
The three older victims were later found at the bottom of a steep drop-off there. Their survivors have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the county.
Weve been constantly working on safety upgrades, making the public more aware of the natural hazards all throughout the park, said Washington County Communications Officer Philip Bransford, who reports that the new signs were installed in late July.