Captain's orders: Stay off the black rocks of Peggy's Cove
The captain of Peggy’s Cove Boat Tours is issuing a stern warning to tourists who think it’s a good idea to venture onto the slippery seaweed-covered rocks that separate the iconic Nova Scotia lighthouse and the Atlantic Ocean.
“Death can be the result of going out on the black rocks,” Peter Richardson told CTV Atlantic. “That is like ice, the seaweed you see here. They just don’t understand it.”
He snapped a photo on Sunday of a woman wading into the water in a spot where high waves have been known to drag people out to sea. He was so incensed by the brazen disregard for safety that he uploaded the image to Facebook.
The post has already been shared nearly 3,000 times.
Richardson said he’s seen plenty of close calls from the behind the wheel of his tour boat. Not everybody is lucky enough to walk away.
A woman drowned last May at the popular tourist destination after she reportedly got too close and was struck by a wave. Richardson said a purse containing Quebec identification was recovered from where the woman was said to be standing, in a report following the incident.
Again on Monday morning, he said he watched another man casually kick off his shoes, roll up his pants, and walk towards the sea.
“His feet came out from underneath him and right into the water. We were right there. All my passengers saw him. His buddies grabbed him, pulled him right out,” he said. “There are always some people that have to live on the edge and get right out there.”
The province posted warnings last year, but they’ve done little to deter people from getting too familiar with the swirling water and treacherous rocks. Some have suggested fencing off the area completely.
CTV Atlantic spoke with the father of a man who died at Peggy’s Cove. He suggested signs listing the names of all the people who lost their lives over the years could help draw attention to the danger.
Richardson said he would welcome the idea, so long as people get the message.
“That might be something that would shock people, if they had to read something like that,” he said. “Just using some common sense would be enough to save your life.”
With a report from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko