Review Date AVG ShoreDiving Site
08/29/2007 3.55 Lake Denton Florida, USA East
We are writing regarding the recent decision by the Highland County Commissioners to close Lake Denton. We are scuba instructors who have been teaching there for the past six years. Our question is: Have any of the three who voted to close the lake actually been there on a weekend? Here are our comments:
1. Yes, parking was a problem for residents until the parking lot was created - now divers park only on the lot. We drive down the boat ramp only to unload our gear.
2. Noise - we are a quiet bunch - we spend most of our time underwater or on shore briefing the next dive. When we're done, we leave. The noise comes from non-divers who park on the boat ramp and play music so loud that our windows are shaking.
3. Trash - not only do we pick up our own trash, we know many divers who pick up trash that other people have left behind - even though there is a dumpster at the road. The divers are NOT leaving beer bottles, dirty diapers, or used condoms.
4. Someone mentioned a case where a boat was launching with small children in the water. The minimum age for a scuba class is 10 years, and there are very few children there with the divers. I have seen boats launch while children of non-divers were in the water and there was no problem. If there is a safety issue, talk to the parents of the small children.
5. Nudity - we guess a lot of lake dwellers are out there with their binoculars, because without them the only people who can see divers change clothes are at the Christian camp. I am curious about their definition of nudity - we take off our wetsuits, are wearing bathing suits, then put on regular clothing over our suits. Everyone else changes in the Port-o-lets.
6. There is no need for a full-time security guard - all that is needed is for the police person who is on that beat to drive down the boat ramp a couple of times after noon and tell the non-divers who are parked there partying to move. Once people know that police check the area, the abuse will decrease.
7. We divers bring business to Avon Park - we buy gas, food, drinks, and have even gone to Wal-Mart for equipment purchases such as ropes and clips.
The bottom line is, please don't take away our means of support. Did anyone stop to think that teaching scuba is how we make our living? Are you going to put us out of work because you think you own a public lake? Let's get some sanity back in the debate.