Family of missing swimmers wants warning signs on lake - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Family of missing swimmers wants warning signs on lake

Updated:

New Orleans, La. -- As the search continued for Telesford Chavez-Lopez Monday, his family wondered why there aren't signs warning swimmers of the dangers in Lake Pontchartrain.

Chavez-Lopez, 50, was swimming with his family Sunday when they say the water turned rough.  The family swam back to the seawall but Chavez-Lopez didn't make it. 

Members of the New Orleans Police Department and the Coast Guard resumed searching Monday morning for the man, who went missing near the intersection of Lakeshore Drive and Beauregard Avenue.

Chavez-Lopez's family describes him as a good swimmer, but John Lopez of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation says the water can be a challenge for even the strongest athletes.

"It's not just a matter of swimming," says Lopez.  "You can bump your head, a wave can come over you, you can take a gulp of water and before you know it, you've lost your oxygen so you have to have an abundance of caution."

Chavez-Lopez's family wants signs warning swimmers of the dangers.

"My concern is if this is not the first person that has passed out here, why is there no swimming signs?' asks Jennifer Garcia, the sister-in-law of Chavez-Lopez.  "If they can have signs and tickets for everything else, why can't they do it out here? If they catch people in the water and swimming, knowing that it's dangerous, why can't they do something about it? I mean, its ridiculous."

Swimming is allowed in the lake, though some areas along the shore are off limits.  Lopez recommends swimming where there is beach access on the north shore. The Basin Foundation is working to increase public access on the south shore.

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