Waco has been surfing’s golden boy since it opened, with claims it’s about to transform our sport ratified at every turn but now, disaster has struck.
Over the weekend it was reported that a surfer from New Jersey had died suddenly and tragically after contracting an infection from a rare parasite called Naegleria fowleri, shortly after visiting the BSR wave pool.
While there is currently no indication as to whether he contracted the brain eating amoeba at the pool, it was immediately closed as a precaution, with Centre for Disease Control inspectors brought in to carry out tests. Everyone at BSR has expressed their deepest sympathies to the family.
The amoeba is usually found in warm freshwater, especially lakes and rivers. However it has occasionally cropped up in insufficiently chlorinated swimming pools. The BSR wave pool is not currently equipped with a filter, as it is classified as a lake and not a swimming pool, meaning it doesn’t have to comply with the same stringent regulations as a public pool.
Yesterday the company released a statement saying they would be installing a filter and continuing to add chemicals to treat the lake, as they have been, during their winter down time.
“Since this situation came about, we spoke with the CDC guys and the local health officials, and we’re going to be treating this as a swimming pool.” BSR Owner Stuart Parsons told Stab. “So we aren’t taking any risks, we immediately shut it down, and we’re gonna put top of the line filtration, the whole deal. We’re doing the whole thing to the letter.”
They added that anyone who’d already purchased sessions would be able to redeem them once the lake re-opens. However, there’s no doubt some punters will have been put off by this development.
Cover photo: American Wave Machines