The Southern California reservoir reopened to the public on Thursday, but locals told the outlet that some changes have been made to the safety guidelines, likely due to Rivera’s death. Forty-three days ago, Rivera took her son out for a day on a pontoon boat.
Not long after going in the water, Rivera drowned. It is believed that her last few moments of life were spent ushering her son back to the safety of the boat.
Afterward, the body of water and the surrounding area were closed while an investigation ensued to find the 33-year-old’s body. Once recovered, the man-made reservoir remained closed due to the pandemic.
Swimming is now banned. Officials have said the ban is due to the public health crisis creating unsafe conditions, but locals told TMZ reporters that they suspected that the restriction had more to do with the actress’s death.
The article noted that her drowning is the ninth death to occur at the lake since 1994.
Boating and other outdoor recreational activities, like shore fishing and hiking, are all allowed once more. That said, the boat Rivera used on that fateful has been placed in a storage facility so no one can rent it.
On social media, dozens of users were happy about the new safety guidelines, although several felt that it was too little, too late and that the rule should have been enforced from the beginning.
“These rules should’ve been applied the moment the lake was created, i wish it didn’t take them this long but swimming has officially been banned at the hell lake. it can’t take anyone else,” wrote one concerned user.
“Lake Piru has reopened and swimming is banned. While that is an improvement, unfortunately it’s 9 deaths too late,” tweeted another user.
People reported that Rivera’s disappearance prompted a viral Change.org petition asking for officials to create more obvious signs and warnings about the reservoir’s “dangerous conditions,” including myriad debris and other dangers beneath the surface.
“Naya Rivera is not the first, nor the last to go missing at Lake Piru. 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,” said petition creator Erin Jordan.