Wellesley town officials today reopened Morses Pond, a popular swimming hole where a 10-year-old boy drowned earlier this month, after finding no fault on the part of lifeguards on duty and after instituting several changes to the pond’s signage and safety policies.
The pond had been closed since June 1, following the death of Alexander Glennon, of Manchester, N.H., who drowned in the crowded pond while the beach was fully staffed with lifeguards.
An open letter from Wellesely Police Chief Terrence Cunningham and Selectmen Hans Larsen and Terri Tsagaris called Glennon’s drowning a “tragic accident.”
Search teams found Glennon’s body inside the swimming area June 1 after his family told lifeguards that he was missing. His family said at the time that Glennon was a capable swimmer.
Shawn DeRosa, an aquatic safety consultant who investigated the pond’s safety following the death, found that the lifeguards on duty had the proper training and certification and that the pond itself was a safe swimming environment, according to the letter.
But Wellesley officials announced a series of changes today, including placing a new string of red buoys to delineate deep- and shallow-water zones in the swimming area, repositioning one lifeguard station, and posting several new signs urging beachgoers to keep a close eye on children and report missing swimmers immediately.
Town officials also put in place a new policy requiring all swimmers shorter than 4 feet or who display weak swimming skills to pass a test before entering the deep-water zone, according to the letter.
“The Town of Wellesley continues to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Alexander Glennon, and our gratitude to the lifeguards, Morses Pond staff and first responders who participated in the search for Alexander,” the letter said.Todd Feathers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ToddFeathers.