On June 25th, we were made aware of an incident involving lifeguards employed by USA Pool Management based in Georgia. What we heard and now what we have read is a very disturbing incident that could have turned tragic for the parents and the drowning victim had it not been for a bystander.
A 14 year old boy by the name of Brionne Sloan had been swimming in the deep end of a crowded pool which was about 7 feet deep. The 14 year old boy was found unconscious by a swimmer and once noticed was pulled to safety while lifeguards watched! It was also noted that while there was commotion going on in the deep end of the community pool, a lifeguard ordered all swimmers out of the pool to which bystanders noticed lifeguards getting out of the pool and not going to the aid of the boy in the pool. When a bystander asked why they were getting out and why are they not helping, one lifeguard responded by saying that he can’t swim in the deep end of the pool. Are we to understand that this lifeguard can’t swim?
When Brionne was pulled out of the water, lifeguards did not immediately render medical aid such as CPR but instead called 911. It was also reported that the lifeguard calling 911 needed to get instruction on how to provide CPR but was never initiated. All the lifeguards did were to provide crowd control while the boy was in full respiratory arrest. The 911 call tapes reveal lifeguards in the background telling bystanders to back off.
As of this post, USA Pool Management has not commented on the incident and we presume it is because their lawyers are telling them to keep their mouths shut. It is a clear cut case of negligence and with numerous witnesses, the lifeguards will cost the private company a lot of money in damages to the family.
The most troubling aspect of this report is that the lifeguards on duty failed to identify the drowning victim, failed to act, failed to initiate CPR because they did not know how to, and lastly one of the lifeguards admitted that he could not swim in the deep end. We don’t know what is going on with those lifeguards but it is mind bending to think that USA Pool Management would put sub-standard guards on a job and now begs the question whether they were lifeguards at all. Something does not smell right!
In the end, Brionne got lucky! He survived with no brain damage and is expected to make a full recovery with the help of bystanders, not lifeguards who obviously failed!