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News and Announcements

Urgent Notice: Pond & Lake Safety on Daniel Island

June 09, 2020

Several years ago, we included an article to the community, regarding a tragic incident that occurred locally (not on Daniel Island) involving a child who unfortunately died, due to an amoebic meningoencephalitis that entered their central nervous system by swimming in a lake or pond. Per the experts, these amoebae can be found throughout the South in relatively stagnant, shallow freshwater. This very rare type of incident had a tragic outcome. Recently, we were reminded again of the dangers that can be found near lakes and ponds, with the fatal attack of an alligator vs. human that occurred in Charleston. Alligators are indigenous to the low country and are common on Daniel Island and can be found hanging out along the banks of or in rivers, marshes, ponds and lakes.

We want to stress to all residents of Daniel Island that no one should be swimming in any of our lakes or ponds on the island.

In addition to the above referenced reasons, below are some of the additional dangers that you may or may not be able to see. While many of our ponds and lakes are beautifully landscaped and contribute to the overall aesthetic of the community, their primary function is to capture runoff and trap pollutants before they enter nearby marshes and rivers. Each pond creates a life of its own. Heavy rainfall will have a cleansing effect by increasing water levels and diluting contaminants in most cases, however, in other situations, heavy rainfall will wash contaminants into the pond, having the opposite effect.

It was reported to the POA last night that a family was seen swimming in Smythe Lake. On Daniel Island, in the last few years, families have sadly lost pets to alligators while either in a pond or on the bank of a pond. While we have been fortunate not to have lost a child or adult, taking any chances of swimming in ponds or leaving children unattended close to the edge of any pond should be a serious concern to all.

All ponds on Daniel Island are posted with alligator and no swimming warning signs. We continue to communicate with property owners regularly via our electronic newsletters, social media and website regarding wildlife safety. In the situation yesterday, a neighbor approached the family to warn them but the family continued swimming. “If you see something, say something” is a phrase often used to encourage people to notify authorities when there is a safety related concern. This saying holds true for health and wildlife safety as well. Please alert our office by emailing our field operations manager Chris Hamil at chris.hamil@dicommunity.org if you witness such incidents and please continue to encourage your neighbors to refrain from this type of behavior.

Thank you for your attention to this communication and please help in this effort by sharing this with all members of your family as well as your friends and neighbors.

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