Titou Gorge safe but precautions must be taken, say people in-the-know

Inside the Titou Gorge. Photo by Discover Dominica Authority

According to those familiar with the Titou Gorge, it is a safe place to swim if necessary precautions are taken.

The tourist attraction was thrust into the spotlight on Easter Monday when well-known photographer, entrepreneur, and media personality, Elias Dupuis died following an alleged drowning incident while swimming at the famous site in Laudat.

Since then many people have taken to social media to discuss the matter with some going as far as saying swimming should be banned there because it is unsafe.

Dominica News Online spoke to several people who are familiar with the Titou Gorge. They preferred to remain 8anonymous but there was a consensus that it is safe to swim in the Titou Gorge as long as safety precautions are taken seriously.

“It’s very safe with a life jacket on,” an individual with 13 years of experience at the gorge said.

“You must have a life jacket. It is mandatory. There are two signs telling you that life jackets must be worn.”

He stated that although there are undercurrents inside the gorge itself and fluctuations in the river’s force, as long as visitors abide by the rules, they should not have any problems.

“There are two signs telling you that life jackets must be worn, life jackets are mandatory,” he remarked.///

However, he said there is an issue with many locals who visit the Titou Gorge.

“People don’t like to abide by the rules in the country,” he said. When people come they like to say they are from Dominica, they raise up by the river, they say this and they say that and they just go into the river to swim and in many cases, people have to jump in to save them.”

Another person, who is a lifeguard at the spot agreed that the Titou Gorge is safe to swim in.

“It is one of the safest places in Dominica,” he remarked, adding there are certified lifeguards always present in the area.

He said it is a rule that no one enters the gorge without a life jacket but there are many, such as Dominicans and visitors from the French islands, who have a tendency to break the rules while lifeguards are distracted.

“Sometimes they say they are the best swimmers,” he told Dominica News Online. “They don’t want to follow protocols; sometimes they take off the life jackets. The gorge is a [five-minute] swim and sometimes we are on the outside or distracted and when we give them the life jackets, you know what they do? They take off the life jackets.”

He said this happens despite the fact that visitors are warned that the wearing of lifejackets is mandatory. He also said that visitors are told that it is recommended to have a lifeguard accompany them while swimming but in some cases, that offer is turned down.

The Titou Gorge is one of Dominica’s premier tourist attractions. It has appeared and has been featured in countless travel magazines from around the world.

A scene from the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean” was filmed there.

Reviews from visitors have been largely positive.

“You need to try this to believe it!” one person wrote on Tripadvisor.

“Just an amazing place to discover. The water is not very cold, despite a first impression. Still, you need to be a decent swimmer if you want to pass the gorges to the fall, as the water stream is quite strong, and you need first to swim against it, and then to avoid nasty collisions with the rocks on your way back. Quite a unique place worldwide!”

“The trip through the Gorge was so worth it,” another wrote.

“I can be a little claustrophobic but never felt uncomfortable swimming to the waterfall and back. The water is cold but not numbing. It was so worth it. See[ing] the blue skies above framed with the lush tropical plants was beautiful and the water fall at the end is so powerful. Of course, seeing the location from a scene from the Pirates of the Caribbean was an added bonus!!!”

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  1. Peter Christensen
    April 19, 2024

    I have been swimming in Titou Gorge many times long before lifeguards and life jackets. Yes it is daunting and difficult even for a strong swimmer and I would advice the use of life jackets and guards, it is very deep in places with no holds so yes a rope along the walls would be an excellent safety precaution for everyone and hopefully save lives

  2. Christine Benjamin
    April 13, 2024

    Titou Gorge is Not safe.

    Lots of people go there on Sundays when there are no lifeguards or life jackets available .

    I know, I have drowned there twice and was resuscitated twice…

  3. Zandoli
    April 12, 2024

    You cannot legislate against stupidity and recklessness. When that does not work, will you ask the authorities to make the water shallower?
    if you have a life vest, you do not need ropes. You can be in the open ocean with a life vest and you will be safe.
    If you want to play Russian Roulette with your life, that is your business.

  4. if we knew better
    April 12, 2024

    Titou Gorge needs safety ropes all along the walls of the gorge. IT is better to have something and not need it than to need it and not have it. We need to stop making excuses about why we cannot mitigate against potential accidents and possible deaths but yet encourage masses to visit the sites. Stop the nonsense now. Not everyone is a strong swimmer, not everyone will use flotation devices, not everyone has common sense. Make titou Gorge safe or at least safer for all users. put a rope on both sides of the walls so that swimmers can hold on to it in case they get tired, have an emergency or simply just want to stop to take a picture.

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    • Carol
      April 14, 2024

      i totally agree. Its better to be safe than sorry. i turn down to swim there. I will stay outside and watch. As you commented, unless there is something to hold on to, i wont be visiting the Titi Gorge.

  5. Zandoli
    April 11, 2024

    I don’t know why my people take such unnecessary risks with their safety.
    There is a Dominican guy with a YouTube channel. You will not see him, his wife and little kids wearing seatbelts while driving. This, in a country where the hospital does not even have basic medication, toilet paper, bed sheets, soap. It that the place you want the end up with a major traumatic injury?
    I just don’t understand that total disregard for their personal safety.

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  6. Calenstine
    April 11, 2024

    Days after carnival loved ones and I visited the gouge. I am not a swimmer however following the precautions and advise of our Guide it turned out to be one of the best times ( and safe too) we had.
    Now had we not chosen a Guide even if we were swimmers we certainly would have used the Life Jackets when water is that deep current is flowing which is always an alert for using precaution

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