On a near 90 degree day, no amount of red warning flags were going to stop sweltering area residents from trying to cool down on a perfect beach day.

The red flags flew from the lifeguard chairs at Carson Beach in South Boston as a warning to beach-goers to avoid swimming. Recent tests by state officials at Carson, Tenean and Wollaston beaches showed elevated levels of bacteria in the water.

Officials said that water contact could cause illness and warned people to swim at their own risk. And that’s exactly what many did, without much concern.


“I didn’t swallow that much [water]. I tried not to at least,” said Raffeal Czak, of Brookline, who had already been in the water when a reporter told him of the warnings.

The bacteria levels sometimes rise when excessive rain from storms creates runoff in to the water. The closures have become almost routine this summer — 29 Massachusetts beaches were closed one day earlier this month.

Many sunbathers at Carson said the warnings weren’t going to ruin their beach day. However, the news was enough to keep South Boston resident Steve Spencer out of the water — at least above his ankles.

“I’ll wade in it,” he said, “but I probably wouldn’t swim in it.”

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