By Elizabeth Perry
The Groveton Swimming Hole was the site of another injured swimmer when a young man’s foot was punctured by submerged metal while diving into the secluded area fed by the Montour Run Creek.
Local officials are now considering what to do about the hazardous swimming hole that is located by the Robinson Township and Coraopolis municipal line, but say options are limited.
“We knew when we were kids, you don’t swim there,” Coraopolis Fire Chief Charles Spencer said.
The Coraopolis department was the first on the scene and helped pull the victim out of the water. Spencer suggested a warning sign should be erected.
According to Robinson Township Volunteer Fire Department, responders transported the victim from the swimming hole, across the creek and through the woods during the May 6 incident. A stokes basket stretcher with ropes was used to accomplish the rescue.
“He jumped off the old railroad wall and it’s not the first time,” Groveton Fire Chief Ken Kisow said.
“We’ve been in there all the time getting people out.”
Kisow said his Robinson Township department is involved in at least two rescues per year at the site. Kisow said about two years ago a man died after being impaled on a sign after jumping into the water.
The Montour Trail brings curious people to the swimming hole, Kisow said. Swimming is much safer than diving or jumping into the water, as unseen hazards lurk beneath, and Kisow strongly suggested against the practice.
“Use common sense, know your surroundings, go enjoy the water but don’t jump from an elevated position,” Kisow said.
Kisow believed the area along the creek was too big to enforce a swimming ban.
“It’s a free venue and the people utilize it,” Kisow said. “You can’t police it.”
Kisow, also a Robinson Township commissioner, said there was nothing they could do since they don’t own the property.
With the proposed new development of the nearby area, including a massive soccer complex with multiple fields, Kisow said the problem might worsen. John Paul, board president of Friends of Pittsburgh Professional Soccer, said he wasn’t sure who owns the property leading up to the swimming hole, but since the land is behind their building he would look into anything that could be done to prevent another incident.
“The last thing we want is someone getting injured,” Paul said.