Jun 3, 2013 9:11 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Questions surround lifeguards' actions in Marana near-drowning

MARANA - The Parks and Recreation Department is taking a closer look at whether a near drowning incident over the weekend could have been prevented.

An 8-year-old boy was rescued from a public pool in Marana on Sunday. A witness dove in and rescued the boy. Witnesses say lifeguards were slow to react. The boy was taken to the University of Arizona Medical Center for treatment and was released on Monday.

Some folks who were at the Ora Mae Harn Park pool on Sunday say the "nightmare" situation could have been prevented, had the lifeguards been paying attention.

Christopher Martin was the man who dove in the pool to save the boy.

"I realized that he wasn't moving so at that point I just jumped into the water," Martin told News 4 Tucson. "Once I jumped into the water, the lifeguard blew her whistle and then she jumped into the water shortly after... other parents were in shock."

Several witnesses told News 4 Tucson that they saw lifeguards on the roof tanning, not paying attention to what was going on.

"We trust our kids to these pools and to these individuals that are trained as lifeguards but we've got to look a little deeper into these lifeguards and the training that they have," Martin said. "Some of them are 16...19 years old. They can pass a swimming test. They can pass CPR."

Marana's Parks and Recreation department launched its investigation on Monday, meeting with the lifeguard staff to see exactly what happened.

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

Campbell said that four lifeguards were on duty on Sunday - that's two more than Pima County requires for a pool of that size. He insists that it could take a while before they can determine whether lifeguards were at fault.

"It's hard to say that they did something wrong... or they did everything right...or whatever the case may be," Campbell said.


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