Jun 4, 2013 2:24 AM by Rebecca Taylor

After child nearly drowns, Town of Marana reviews lifeguards' actions

MARANA - A near drowning over the weekend has Marana Parks and Recreation officials reviewing what went wrong at Ora Mae Harn Park pool.

The quick facts: a parent of another child pulled the 8-year-old boy from the water.

Witnesses claim the lifeguards on duty reacted slowly. Two were reportedly seen sunbathing just before the incident. The boy went to UAMC for treatment.

Late Monday News4 Tucson learned doctor's allowed the boy to return home.

Meantime, town officials are hearing all sides from the lifeguards to the eyewitnesses who say the accident could have been prevented.

One day after a child nearly lost his life, kids and parents at the Ora Mae Harn pool are taking swim practice and lessons that much more serious and closer to heart.

"Being a mom I wouldn't want something like that to happen to our family, so it's very important to me these kids learn to swim," said Faith O'Hara, a mother at Ora Mae Harn Park.

O'Hara is a mom of six, she taught her little ones pool safety from an early age.

"No putting your feet or any body parts into the pool," said O'Hara's six-year-old daughter Ammy.

Another child at the pool said, "Maybe make sure there's a lifeguard near you, or any parents or adults."

All good answers according to paramedics, but they also say lifeguards can sometimes be a false sense of security at a busy pool.

"A lot of people does not lessen the responsibility of parents to watch their children around water at all time," said Capt. Adam Goldberg with Northwest Fire District.

"We want to get everyone together, discuss with them exactly what happened, get everybody's perspective on this because you could have one person saying one thing, another person saying something that's the complete opposite," said Rodney Campbell, spokesperson for the Town of Marana.

Town officials say it could take a while before they can determine whether lifeguards were at fault.

Four were on duty, two more than the county requires for a pool that size.

One thing is for sure, all sides are applauding the efforts of Chris Martin the good samaritan who pulled the child to safety.

"At first I thought maybe the child was playing a game, holding his breath or whatever and I realized he wasn't moving," said Martin.

Martin, a father of two said instinct kicked in.

Town officials say this is the first time in at least 15 years something this traumatic has occurred at a Marana public pool.


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