San Ramon Valley High School Drowning

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This is the second high profile drowning case we have heard about this year and we are once again quite fired up regarding the circumstances surrounding this particular case. This drowning occurred earlier in the year but is now making its rounds on social media again as the family of the victim has filed a claim against the school district. Sadly we must take a moment to address drowning prevention and get into the facts of this case.

In case you are wondering what we are referring to, here is a link to the original story:

https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2018/05/08/ebt-l-drown-0509/

In May of this year a group of students under the direction of high school coach Aaron Becker were participating in what is being called a “conditioning drill” which was treading water for 3 minutes in the school swimming pool. According to the facts, there were at the time of the drowning 50 students in the pool treading water. The coach noticing that one of the students had touched a lane line ordered the students to tread water for an additional 30 seconds.

During this time, coach Becker had been standing on a diving board overlooking the students and it was at this time when 15 year old Benjamin Curry drowned! This was a drowning that DID NOT have to happen and the facts will show that Becker was to blame for the drowning. The facts will also show and have shown that safety measures were not fully implemented. We feel that the school district and coach Aaron Becker will be found liable in the death of Benjamin Curry.

Here is our analysis:

Coach Aaron Becker was in over his head! At the time of the drowning, his lifeguard certification was expired and he has little to no water safety training. Any professional lifeguard and/or agency will tell you that there is a lifeguard to swimmer ratio that must be met and in this case with 50 students in the water, there should have been at least two lifeguards on duty but preferably three. American Red Cross Lifeguard suggests 1 lifeguard per 20-25 swimmers. So, why were there no lifeguards on duty? Why were there no additional teaching staff or assistants present?

With 50 students crowded together in the pool would have been very difficult for coach Becker to see anyone in distress. With drowning and unlike the movies depict, often happens without a sound. There is no waving of arms or yelling for help. Benjamin most likely got fatigued and with nothing to grab such as a lane line or flotation device, slipped under water. No one else noticed!

It was not until the next period that he was discovered at the bottom of the pool. He was officially pronounced dead at the hospital. How is it that no one saw his body in the pool at the conclusion of this drill? This really upsets us!

The district trying to avoid litigation told the family and friends of Benjamin Curry the narrative that he killed himself. Really? We feel that this claim will not hold up in a court of law.

We also feel that coach Aaron Becker should be terminated and prosecuted for the drowning death of the boy.

 

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