Dangers of the Conimicut sandbar

By: Chelsea Priest


People who have been swimming at Conimicut Point for years are very familiar with the rapid tidal changes. Bill Sollenberger says that there have been many times in the past 20 years that he has been scared out there. The changes in tides can catch up by surprise if you are unfamiliar with the area. “Everybody looks out there and thinks it's so cool, you can walk all the way to the lighthouse then you get out there and you get to a place where you just can't get back.”

Sunday's drowning isn't the first at Conimicut. In 2008 a teen girl was pulled from the water and later died.

According to Narragansett Baykeeper, Tom Kutcher, the tide change can be especially dangerous around the time of a full moon, which is tonight.. “A moon tide means that high tides will be even higher and low tides will be even lower which means that more water is coming into the bay and more water is exiting the bay.”

People who live in the area say that this latest death should be the final straw. Fred Cavanaugh, a local resident says, “We've got to remove this sand dune, right away. This is not a public safety issue its a public safety emergency.”

(C) WLNE-TV 2013