We follow many stories regarding drownings but this story occurred in our own backyard of Southern California. This recent story (June & July 2016) really is the one that has set us off and in ways unimaginable which will catapult us into an even more proactive position when it comes to dealing with teen lifeguards and teen supervisors in the private and public sector.
We want you to take a good look at this young boy in the picture below. This boy lost his precious life because of teen lifeguards and supervisors. Criminal negligence cases will rise as people start calling these teen lifeguards out.
Original story via KTLA, channel 5, Los Angeles;
A 13-year-old boy remained on life support Wednesday after a near-drowning incident during an “end-of-year” pool party at a Murrieta school last week.
Alex Pierce was celebrating with members of the Dorothy McElhinney Middle School band and choir at the pool at Vista Murrieta High School on Friday when the incident occurred, according to a statement released Saturday by the Murrieta Unified School District.
The event was chaperoned by parents, faculty volunteers and several high school student lifeguards, according to district officials.
Yet, no one realized Alex was missing until a classmate spotted him at the bottom of the pool, according to a post on a GoFundMe page set up for the boy’s family.
“I started diving down there as quickly as I possibly could,” said classmate Rylie Spivey. “I tapped his arm to check to see if he was responding. When he wasn’t, I grabbed him and started swimming to the surface,” she said.
Brian Bonus jumped in too and helped bring Alex to the surface.
“He didn’t make any noises,” Bonus said. “He was lifeless.”
The students said none of the adults or the lifeguards dove into the pool to help.
While they waited for help to arrive, the students told KTLA that no one at the party rendered any first aid or even removed the boy from the pool.
CPR was not started until members of the Murrieta Fire Department arrived, according to the district.
It was not known how long Alex had been underwater.
The teenager was initially taken to Inland Valley Hospital where the decision was made to airlift him to another hospital, the district stated.
On Wednesday, Alex was still in a coma at Loma Linda Medical Center and family members said his condition was worsening.
“Alex’s brain activity is diminishing quickly and unless the hospital has clear signs of life, they will remove him from life support,” the post stated.
After viewing surveillance video from the pool area, Murrieta police said nothing inappropriate was observed and determined the incident was accidental.
Alex’s friends and family described him as “thoughtful, caring and quick-witted.”
As we started following this story, we realized that this one may begin to start a new wave of scrutiny for teen lifeguards on the job. We also feel that we will start seeing criminal negligence cases on the rise due to more and more incidents such as this one! The time is NOW to put lifeguards on notice! If they are not doing their jobs, they could be held accountable in a court of law and criminal negligence is not something they want to deal with at all!
What is criminal negligence?
criminal negligence – (law) recklessly acting without reasonable caution and putting another person at risk of injury or death (or failing to do something with the same consequences)
We can’t even fathom why teen lifeguards do nothing especially when they have been certified as lifeguards in the first place. Earlier this summer we were made aware of numerous cases where teen lifeguards never went into the pool to assist a drowning victim, never initiated a search and even never applied CPR to a drowning victim. What were they thinking?
In many of those cases it was bystanders who played the part of lifeguard by pulling the drowning victim out, called 911 and administered CPR. There is something very wrong with this picture.
We feel the blame can be directed at many sources:
- Many lifeguard instructors will pass students regardless of whether they can demonstrate proficient skills instead of losing money ($175.00 to $220.00) from a student. Many of these instructors operate their training as a mill, “Get em in & Get em out!”
- The minimum age for lifeguards is currently set at 15 to 16 years of age. At that age teens do not have adequate maturity or responsibility for the job of lifeguard.
- Many facilities and private companies DO NOT provide in-service training or continuing education.
- Lifeguard curriculum has been dumbed down in order to placate lazy teens. 24 hours (2 weekends) is NOT ENOUGH time for an individual to totally absorb the lifeguard curriculum.
This fall & winter, we will be spending a lot of time dealing with this subject and will do what we can to bring this to the light. It is time that teen lifeguards be called out for their immaturity, irresponsibility and lack of seriousness for the job as a lifeguard.