Open Standard Media Player version 1.3
CLOQUET - A popular beach in Cloquet where a 6–year–old boy drowned in 2011, reopened for the season Thursday with changes and added safety procedures.
"It's an exciting day at Pinehurst," Pinehurst Beach goer Lauryn Hilton said.
"Been waiting a long time for Pinehurst to open," Pinehurst Beach goer Andrew Hansen said.
It's time to dip and dive, belly flop, slip and slide and of course meet new friends at the Pinehurst Beach in Cloquet.
"They have good food, a good playground, bike racks,” Pinehurst Beach goer Ashton Kelner said.
"I just love how God created this world for us to live in," said Hilton.
"It's so much fun swimming here," said Taylor Hansen who goes to Pinehurst Beach every year.
"All the open water, it's clean," Matthew Bober who likes to swim at Pinehurst Beach said.
But one summer afternoon a six-year-old boy went under and never came back up.
"It was really, really scary to hear about,” said Chris Savage who takes his daughters to Pinehurst Beach. You don't like hearing things like that ever."
"Sometimes you can't even prevent them,” said Therese Holmquist who takes her two grandsons to Pinehurst Beach. It just takes a moment."
Beach officials say the drowning called for changes in their safety policies.
"The ropes that you see we've put those there to give parents a visual of the deepening of the sand," Cloquet Public Schools Community Education Director Sara Liimatainen said.
The ages of kids who can swim alone have been changed from 8 to 10.
A new group policy is also in effect.
"It gives them proper procedures on how to operate while they are here," said Liimatainen.
Officials also consulted with sand beaches throughout the state for input on safety procedures.
"It just seems like they're a lot more aware now," said Holmquist.
"That's great they obviously need to have that out here so everyone's safe," said Savage.
They're upgrades that make parents feel more at ease and will have the kids coming here all summer long.
"Um pretty much," said Hilton.
"Well maybe not some days,” said Kelner. "Maybe just once a week."
Even though there are new safety policies Pinehurst Beach officials recommend children take swimming lessons until they are comfortable swimming alone.
Kids can also rent life jackets at the beach for just $1.