The state Department of Conservation and Recreation said today "open-water swimming" will continue to be allowed at the historic Concord pond, but that people really shouldn't try it until they know what they're doing:
Over the last three years, there have been 28 saves by lifeguards at DCR's Walden Pond, 13 of these saves came from outside of the designated swimming areas. Water rescues in depths of more than 20 feet put swimmers, lifeguards, and emergency response personnel at a greater risk. In recent years there has been a marked increase in the number of inexperienced swimmers attempting to cross the pond creating a new and more urgent public safety challenge for the agency.
Walden Pond is a kettle pond that has a depth greater than 100 feet (108â€™) at its deepest point. In an effort to ensure the publicâ€™s safety at Walden Pond, while attempting to accommodate the growing popularity of long-distance swimming, DCR recently shared a draft proposal with The Walden Pond Advisory Board and other community stakeholders that would create an unobstructed, 125 yard swim lane for distance swimming in a designated unguarded swimming area. This proposal has been met with some skepticism by community advocates. As a result of ongoing conversations with advocates and emergency responders, this proposal is no longer being considered.