Missing buoys cause concern for boaters and swimmers

Published: September 7, 2021 7:10 PM EDT
Updated: September 7, 2021 7:18 PM EDT

Many boaters and swimmers are now concerned for their safety as they say they are missing important markers in the water. Now they’re wondering if anything will be done to replace the buoys on Lowdermilk Beach.

Except for a single buoy still on the water, there’s nothing to tell people where the swimming ends and the boating begins.

A man swimming near Vanderbilt Beach was hit and killed by a boat in March of 2020. Longtime boater Tony Kordowski says this is his biggest fear. “We don’t want to be anywhere near swimmers and people shouldn’t even be swimming in the intercoastal or anywhere near, just near shore where boats don’t go OK,” Kordowski said.

Jason Gibson works concessions at Lowdermilk and is worried that we could see another swimmer injured, or worse, at the beach. “If you have a situation where you’ve got some good swells and you’re out there 2-3000 feet you can technically go underneath eye visibility on a boat and disappear,” he said.

“We had a swimmer he was out very far every once in a while all I could see was a hand coming up because he had his head down swimming and boats were driving past him, literally,” Gibson said.

The City of Naples told WINK News that there are supposed to be four buoys in the water at Lowdermilk but that storms have washed them away.

Swimmer Carla Rodriguez says without the buoys she’s not sure where to go. “I mean I was trying to figure out actually how far can I swim because I don’t see like anything but I’m assuming I can go as far as I want,” Rodriguez said.

She quickly decided against that when she saw the boats. “I’m used to other beaches here in the USA that have you know pretty well-marked places but yeah here I don’t know like how close can they get here.”

The City of Naples says it plans to have those buoys replaced by next week.