Hamilton Pool safety feature: 'It would be foolish to not use it'

Safety changes coming to Hamilton Pool

DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS - The Austin area has a lot of outdoor gems, like the beautiful Hamilton Pool. The pool's back open for the summer after two drownings last year shut it down.

"It breaks my heart," Travis County Parks tech Tamara Knox said.

She has been working at the preserve for the last 11 seasons. She said when incidents like this happen, grief follows close behind.

"Their own lives are changed, our lives are changed and we have this thing to deal with," she added.

The pool has about a 30-foot drop towards the back. The darker shades of teal water is where swimmers have to be careful. Staff say the ground below is just as jagged as the top of the cave.

"And yeah, there could be a lot of hazards," Knox said.

After months of meetings, Travis County Park officials decided to install a loaner life vest kiosk in children and adult sizes.

"Almost every single day, they are pretty much used up," Knox said. "You know, folks are out there with them on -- that's a great thing."

With almost 50 in stock, swimmers can grab one at no cost to them. There's also a sign to tell them how to properly secure it.

"I think a lot of times, specifically for people like myself, who is not a local -- I see pictures and it's beautiful -- we don't know the hidden dangers," visitor Brian Deutschamann said.

He is visiting from St. Louis. Deutschamann said it's paramount to keep safety measures in mind.

"I think anything in nature whether it's Hamilton Pool, whether its a river, a ocean or a mountain -- I think it's good that you eliminate any risks. And the safety of our guests, and I think that's what they're doing," he added.

Staff continues to provide throw rings as well with a total of three placed around the pool.

"I think if they are offering it, it would be foolish to not use it," Deutschamann said.

If you do want to visit the pool, you have to make a reservation from May 1 until Sept. 30. Reservations cost $10 per vehicle plus a park facility use fee of $15. Reservations are available between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

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