'That kid's brave or he's stupid': Bystanders stunned by Peggy's Cove swimmer
After eight years on the job, George Coombes has earned the title of "Peggy's Cove Piper," entertaining countless tourists who descend on the popular destination year after year.
Coombes assumed he'd pretty much seen it all over the years -- but he was wrong.
"I'd say it's rare that somebody goes in for a swim," Coombes said. "This is the first time I've ever seen that happen."
Coombes was talking about a boy who was filmed taking a swim off the notorious black rocks at Peggy's Cove – the ones that tourists have been swept off of by rogue waves.
"That kid's brave or he's stupid!" says the person filming the boy. "I don't know. It's the parents that are with him that are stupid."
The moment was captured on camera phones Sunday afternoon by Karen and Kodi Boggs. The video shows a young man appearing to be enjoying himself in waist-high water on one side of the rocks, while friends or family members watch.
Nobody seems particularly concerned.
Artist Charlene Smith has taken the long-standing Peggy's Cove warnings to a new, artistic level. She's been leaving hand-painted rocks at the popular site, with colourful, gentle warnings for visitors.
She didn't think she'd have to tell anyone not to willingly wade into the water.
"To me it's common sense, why you wouldn't stay away from it," Smith said of the turbulent waters that have claimed many an unwary tourist. "I don't know anybody who would swim here! Swimming is for beaches."
It's a sentiment shared by many who make a living at the cove or, in the ocean.
Vacationing shark technician Warren Joyce notes the waters at Peggy's Cove often appear deceptively calm.
"It's still a very rough area," Joyce said. "If people do want to swim, there's certainly, other, better areas around St. Margaret's Bay, and even just around here at Cranberry Cove where it's much more calm."
There were no reports of injuries or fatalities at Peggy's Cove on Sunday, so the assumption is whoever went in got out safely.
"I've seen people with their dogs wet," Coombes said. "You know, they've put their dogs in for a swim or whatever."
The newest development at a popular tourist destination is risky business for those who thought they'd seen it all.
Kodi Boggs says what he and his mom saw on Sunday was the craziest thing he's ever seen at Peggy's Cove.
Those who work at the popular tourist destination say they don't know what else they can do. Every visitor now receives a handout warning of the dangers, and there is a significant amount of signage. Despite all that, it seems some people are willing to take the risks to a whole new level.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Bruce Frisko.