BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Obey the law or you could lose your life. That’s the warning from police who are cracking down on people illegally swimming in local reservoirs.

Kelly McPherson explains a number of people did, in fact, die last summer.

You can boat with a permit. But you can’t swim, and it’s a message that rangers are trying to spread in order to save lives.

It’s illegal to swim in any of the three city-owned reservoirs. But every time the temperature goes up, people ignore the law.

“I come up here every summer, my brother and me,” said one person.

“I would hope that something like the tragedies we experienced last summer would give people a reason not to,” said Ranger Luke Brackett.  

Search teams pulled out three people from Loch Raven and Liberty reservoirs over a short span of six weeks. They all drowned.

“All three victims were in excellent physical condition,” Brackett said. 

The more challenging environment of this water proved to be too much for them. It’s cold water that’s 90 feet deep in parts.  Beneath the surface are cliffs, valleys and old towns.

“We’ve been busy already,” Brackett said.

Just last week, rangers handed out 37 to people who were trespassing or going into the water.

We’re concealing the identity of this group of teenagers who admit to jumping in for the thrill and to cool off.

“We were jumping off the cliffs,” said one of the teenagers.

“When you get to the high one it gets a little scary,” said another teen.

“I just like the freefall; all of the pressure comes off of your shoulders,” said another.

The teens say they’ve never been caught.

“I’ve been lucky,” said one of them.

Others were not so lucky.  That’s three more citations and summer hasn’t officially begun yet.

If caught, a citation can mean up to $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail. The reservoirs provide drinking water for Baltimore City and several surrounding counties.

Comments (15)
  1. Bullfrog says:

    Let’s wait and see how many people with that liquid courage in them decide to break the law and go swimming. I can only pray that not to many lives are lost this summer.

    1. pigeon says:

      One life lost is one too many!

  2. Mr. diver says:

    It would be awesome if they would ever set aside parts of the reservoirs for SCUBA diving. I’m a certified diver. However, I know these bodies of water are for public drinking water and no one wants essence of drowned and lost SCUBA diver in their drinking water.

  3. Marcia Carlson says:

    I used to live near a similar body of water in Western Pennsylvania. The reservoir has several dock/ramp areas and two beaches. The swimming areas are clearly marked with ropes and buoys, and hours are posted for life guard supervision. There are also areas for camping, even a few cabins. A couple of spots are known for duck feeding and are favorite family stops. Drowning is rare and usually involves stupidity. I now live near Loch Raven and have been puzzled at the lack of recreational and nature experiences available here. @Mr. Diver: “Essence of drowned” is a reality, as there are always deaths among animals.

  4. PD says:

    What about letting kids play in the Gunpowder River that stems from the Reservoir? Is only the Reservoir itself banned?

  5. Brad says:

    I lost a very close friend and colleague when he went swimming and drowned in the Loch Raven Reservoir just last year. This is very serious stuff and i hope people stay out of the water in this method.

  6. Ronald G Miner Jr says:

    ITs a good way to help clean up the gene pool. If they are stupid enough to go into the water maybe they are too stupid to reproduce. let em drown..

    1. JWade says:

      Thank you for saying this. Seriously, what more needs to be done? If it says no swimming, let them take the chance. If they make it out alive, great. If they don’t, great.

    2. pigeon says:

      Such a sad uneducated individual your parents produced! Perhaps they should have done something to “clean up the gene pool” in your family!

  7. citizenconcerned says:

    It is not the rangers job to protect people from drowning. People can drown in their own pool or even 2 feet of water. I think this is kind of ridiculous.

    On another note…who the hell wrote this article? A Baltimore city high school drop out.
    Edit your freakin stories before you publish them. I could barely understand parts of this.

    1. pigeon says:

      As are you – ridiculous that is!

  8. williejoe says:

    Nobody has mentioned it yet so I will take the baton. The Spoonies are the main recipients of drownings in these reservoirs. Their lack of training & swimming lessons make them easy targets. Why for God’s sake doesn’t their inner conscience tell them that it’s dangerous or is it true that inside their little pea brain heads is nothing but Hip-Hop, malt liquor & Ho’s?. Every child regardless of color should learn how to swim by age five minimum.

  9. nate says:

    Let the spoonies die. There will be less of a drain on society.

  10. pigeon says:

    Sign recommendation even if they chose not to read it:
    “Stupidity is not a guaranteed life jacket”

  11. Swimming nyc says:

    Pools have been in existence for some time, along with probably noticed different styles of these people. One kind of share, on the other hand, has been building a sprinkle of late — the actual panel swimming.pool fill in

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