Cameron Beaches: Swim At Your Own Risk

June 17, 2007
Reported By: Lee Peck

For Emily Bridges and her dad, a walk on Holly Beach was the perfect way to celebrate this Father's Day.

"We just woke up this morning and we thought we would have a good drive, and thought it would be good to go to the beach," said Bridges.

For a group helping with hurricane recovery, beaches are few and far between. They're from Ohio and couldn't wait to see a real beach.

"This is a big place but I didn't think it would be quite this dirty," said Stoltzfus.

While hurricane recovery is a dirty business perhaps the worst part lies within the murky waters. According to the Louisiana State Department of Health and Hospitals several beaches in Cameron Parish, Holly Beach included, are showing high levels of bacteria. But not just any bacteria -- the same kind that's found in human and animal wastes.

The beaches are still open to the public with several swimming advisories posted in the area. However, despite the warnings many people continue to take to the waters at their own risk. Several swimmers we spoke to told us they were unaware of the no swimming advisory, yet after being warned did not appear concerned and continued their leisurely swim.

"I did see some people in there a while ago... But we knew of the swimming advisory so we're not going in," said Stoltzfus.

"It's disgusting. I don't think it's good for their health," said Bridges.

Apparently the State Department of Health doesn't think so either. That's why the warnings will remain posted until further notice.

Meanwhile, the State Department of Health has issued swim advisories at Rutherford Beach, Hackberry and all Constance-area beaches except Martin. However, officials say land-based activities as well as boating and fishing are considered safe.