Police correction: Boy in Cobbs Creek near-drowning has not died

July 19, 2013 6:41:33 PM PDT
Philadelphia Police now say a 6-year-old boy hospitalized since nearly drowning at a recreation center pool Thursday has not died.

A spokesperson said police are being told the boy is breathing with the help of a ventilator at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Earlier police say they were told the boy had been pronounced dead.

The boy was rushed to the hospital Thursday after he was pulled from the pool just after 1:00 p.m.

The pool is located at 200 South 63rd Street in the Cobbs Creek section of Philadelphia.

Action News spoke to an 11-year-old camper Thursday night who was there when it happened.

"His stomach was out and he was pale, like, his lips were purple," she said.

The girl said she watched as others tried to save the 6-year-old boy.

They were all there as part of a Families Forward Philadelphia summer camp. The camp serves low-income and homeless children.

There were 4 lifeguards watching over the kids at this pool and another one who was off duty but on the pool deck.

In addition, there were 4 counselors in the pool at the time this happened.

Action News is told the director of the camp walked over and saw the child face down at the bottom of the pool.

"She was screaming like five times for them to help her and they wouldn't get up to do it," said the camper.

Action News had learned the child did not have on any type of flotation device when it happened.

The pool is 3 feet at the shallow end and 5 feet at the deep end. The child was pulled from somewhere in the middle of the pool.

An 11-year-old camper swam over to help pull the boy out of the deep end, onto a teacher's back and get him out of the pool.

She said that's when a female lifeguard who had been watching the shallow end came over and began CPR.

As for the other lifeguards, the camper said they were not on their stands.

"They were sitting down talking to each other, or they would throw each other into the pool," she said.

Thursday night police were taking measurements at the pool, trying to determine exactly how the child ended up at the bottom of the pool and what all the lifeguards were doing at the time the boy went under.

"We're trying to determine what actually happened here today," said Philadelphia Police Captain John Walker

Safety guidelines require one lifeguard for every 30 kids. There were less than 30 kids in the pool at the time.

We did reach out to the city for comment about what the lifeguards were doing at the time of the accident, but did not get a response.

The mother of the young camper we spoke to said she's not allowed to go to the pool anymore. She told us she doesn't want to.

"I'm scared to go to the pool now," she said.


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