Montreal surfers worried over lack of rules

Surfers take advantage of the lack of regulation to practice on the waters of the St. Lawrence...

Surfers take advantage of the lack of regulation to practice on the waters of the St. Lawrence River in Montreal. SIMON DESSUREAULT/QMI AGENCY

Simon Dessureault and Ameli Pineda, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:27 PM ET

MONTREAL — Montreal is becoming a miniature Tofino with surfing becoming more and more popular. But a lack of rules is making it extremely dangerous.

The number of people surfing daily at the city's two favourite spots — Lasalle and Cite-du-Havre — has doubled to 100 a day in the last year.

There are concerns, however, that the water is dangerous and the surfers who come are not experienced. Last summer a 23-year-old woman died when she was crushed between her surfboard and a tree at the water's edge.

"Lots of people who come here haven't surfed before," said Pascal Trudel, who surfs at Cite-du-Havre a few times a week. "Those people risk drowning and serious injuries."

There are no lifeguards on duty at either spot, though signs are posted that indicate the dangers of swimming and the risk of drowning.

Helene Dionne, who works for the borough of Lasalle, told QMI that better and safer access to the water is needed.

"We're hoping to install a ramp for safer access to the water," said Dionne. She says the city hopes to make the surfing areas safer in time for next summer.

 


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