Riverfront should be closed

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It’s impossible to police stupidity.

That fact became very evident Monday night when two teenagers decided it would be fun to first wade, and then swim in the Mississippi River.

But their fun ended when one of the teens got caught in the current and was pulled downriver a bit.

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Three heroes dove in after them, pulling the boys to safety, thank goodness.

Vidalia Police Chief Billy Hammers said Monday night that he wouldn’t arrest the boys, because he thought they’d been shaken up enough. But Hammers also said he probably should arrest them, since their silly decision could have cost three other men their lives.

Hammers is right on both accounts. We hope the teens learned the lesson of a lifetime Monday night.

But more important, we hope everyone else in the Miss-Lou learned it right along with them.

The Mississippi River’s current is strong. You’ve heard it before, but now there is evidence.

The City of Vidalia had no choice but to close the river walk. When citizens put the lives of others in danger by making stupid choices, the city has to step in and police what it can.

It will be impossible for Vidalia Police to guard every inch of riverfront. You can still get there if you want to, but we hope everyone will heed the police tape and view the river from afar. It’s simply what we have to do.