St. Louis Record

Friday, August 23, 2019

MISSOURI ATTORNEY GENERAL: AG Schmitt Closes Offsets Ahead of Memorial Day Weekend

By Press release submission | May 28, 2019


Missouri Attorney General issued the following announcement on May 24.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced that a judge has ordered “The Offsets” swimming hole to cease operations until necessary safety measures are implemented. “The Offsets” is a lead mine turned swimming hole in Southeast Missouri. Since its opening in the early 1980’s, at least 9 people have died from drowning or falling off of the bluffs and countless other injuries have occurred.

“It was incredibly important to me to ensure that swimmers were kept off the water at The Offsets for Memorial Day until proper safety measures are implemented,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “As Attorney General, my duty is to protect all six million Missourians, and ensuring that people can safely enjoy summer festivities falls under that duty. It’s my hope that The Offsets will implement the necessary safety features and ensure that their patrons are able to safely enjoy themselves.”

Then-Attorney General Josh Hawley filed a lawsuit against The Offsets in July of 2018, seeking to compel the entity to remedy the dangerous conditions their property poses to swimmers and patrons. In the final judgement, Judge Wendy Horn bars the owners of “The Offsets,” Gary and Rebecca Henson, from re-opening the swimming hole until extensive safety measures are met.

Some of the safety measures include: requiring an emergency response plan to be prepared and frequent staff trainings to be held, stipulating specific areas where jumping is allowed and stationing trained lifeguards in those areas, requiring an additional lifeguard to be stationed in a boat in the water to be more readily available to rescue swimmers, requiring all patrons who are jumping into the water to wear U.S. Coast Guard approved life vests, and more.

Original source can be found here.

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