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Media Release - March 8, 2024 - Pier Safety Report

Pier Safety Ad-hoc Committee reports to Council with recommendations

KINCARDINE, ON – Living along a waterfront has innumerable benefits, but there are also associated hazards. Since 2008, a total of 13 drownings and near-miss incidents have occurred in the waters near the Kincardine piers. A long-standing ban on swimming or jumping from the piers is already in place.

On September 13th, 2023, Council established the Pier Safety Ad-hoc Committee (PSAC.) The group of members include stakeholders and subject matter experts tasked with reviewing past incidents, prior recommendations, and the many dynamic aspects of both the piers and the waterfront.

A report with the recommendations resulting from the PSAC’s comprehensive work was on the agenda of the March 6th Council meeting.

The first of the recommendations is that both piers remain open year-round with appropriate signage and education. PSAC acknowledge that allocations of additional resources are necessary to support this action.

The remaining recommendations’ priority is set by its importance, with projects for 2024 requiring Council to pre-approve for up to $92,000 of investment to ensure their delivery. Enhancements following 2024 will be part of future annual budget deliberations.

2024 Recommendations

  • Installation of 10 new ladders
  • New sign designs and installation
  • Improvements to lifesaving stations
  • Emergency parking enhancements
  • Beach Blazers program development

High-Priority Recommendations

  • Phase in new ladder installations over a 1-to-4-year period
  • Increase lifesaving stations from 2 to 4
  • Enhance access signs to the piers emphasizing no jumping
  • Painting of the pier perimeter bright yellow with enhancements
  • Enhance signage to reflect risks and the 911 location
  • Redefine non-swimming area located south of the south pier from 100 meters to 200 meters

Medium-Priority Recommendations

  • Gate design and installation at pier entrances
  • Consideration of fines for patrons who use the piers contrary to approved uses
  • Parking pilot project for 2024 with additional direction signs identifying parking locations based on patron usage
  • Removal of existing large, blue, decorative chairs located at the northern section of Station Beach
  • Installations to deter members of the public from parking in emergency parking locations
  • Consideration of a volunteer supported beach patrol (ambassador) program for a one-year trial in collaboration with other community partners along with expansion and enhancement of the existing beach education program with continual education opportunities for patrons at the waterfront

Council approved the recommendations as presented along with adding a maximum of $92,000 to the 2024 budget to implement this year’s projects.

Councillor Cavanagh, the chair of the PSAC, expressed his thanks to the committee members and subject experts for their work in developing the full Pier Safety Report which is available online.

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Media Inquiries:
Jayne Jagelewski, Director of Community Services
Municipality of Kincardine

Rory Cavanagh, Councillor and Chair of the Pier Safety Ad-hoc Committee
Municipality of Kincardine

Contact Us

The Municipality of Kincardine
1475 Concession 5, R.R.
#5, Kincardine, ON N2Z 2X6
Phone: 519-396-3468
F.: 519-396-8288

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