Naya Rivera is presumed to have drowned in Ventura County, California’s Lake Piru, and now area locals are insisting that there needs to be better warnings for swimmers and tourists who don’t know how dangerous the lake is.
As of this writing, over 20,000 people have signed the petition that calls for more protection for swimmers. And locals are worried for a reason: Rivera has become the ninth person to drown in Lake Piru since 1994.
When she went missing, TMZ reported that the visibility was only five to nine inches. Piru isn’t a natural lake, and is dangerous due to the fact that the bottom is filled with trees and other debris, which can ensnare a swimmer. The lake’s powerful currents also make swimming particularly difficult.
The Change.org petition very clearly states that locals want there to be physical warning signs at the lake. “Naya Rivera is not the first, nor the last to go missing at Lake Piru,” the petition reads. “Lake Piru is a very deep lake with very bad whirlpools, people have been asking for years for the city to put up warning signs for swimmers.”
The petition continues, “Locals of Ventura County don’t go to Lake Piru for this reason! Tourists have no idea what they’re getting into. Lake Piru needs signs. We’re tired of waiting. We need justice for all those who got lost at Lake Piru. Put up the signs.”
According to TMZ, some parts of the lake are marked as swimming areas, where people can dive in from the shore. However, people who take out boats aren’t given the same warnings. Lake Piru reportedly doesn’t have many lifeguards, and swimmers “are engaging in a hazardous recreational activity and do so at their own risk,” the lake’s policy says.
On Thursday, reports surfaced that Rivera and her 4-year-old song, Josey Hollis Dorsey went swimming in the lake, from a boat. Josey was later discovered, after having gotten back in the boat and falling asleep. Local authorities have launched a search but have yet to recover Rivera’s body.