By Tom Wright / Monterey Herald
Carmel >> A day after a 9-year-old boy died at Monastery State Beach, the public safety superintendent for California State Parks in the area said the best solution to keeping the site nicknamed “Mortuary Beach” by locals safe would be to staff more lifeguards.
Sean James, the public safety superintendent for the State Parks Monterey District, said discussions have begun to determine what can be done to improve safety at the beach. Officials from Carmel, State Parks, the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office and Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula met in 2015 to discuss possible solutions after a woman who was taking photos of the ocean was pulled into the surf and drowned. After those meetings, State Parks installed a short fence late last year and then new signs in January.
“The way we built the fence was with strategic openings to try to force people to walk by these signs, that are huge,” James said. “Unless you walk over top of the fence, you’d pretty much be forced to see one of these signs.”
A taller fence would stop people from stepping over it, but James said State Parks would need approval from the state Coastal Commission, Monterey County and Caltrans to change the barrier.
“Which is why it took a long time to get the last fence in,” he said. “It doesn’t mean it can’t be done, it just has to go through that process and that (process) would tell us how big of a fence could go in.”
Even if State Parks decided to close the beach to the public, James said that wouldn’t eliminate the danger. (Read More)