A 12-year-old boy became entrapped in a drain after sticking his leg in it.
The incident took place March 20 in a lazy river at the Avista Resort Hotel in North Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Video (Warning: graphic) shows the young man and his friend lifting the 3-by-3-foot drain grate up, after which the child placed his leg in the drain. It appeared his entire leg became stuck, and his head went underwater. Some patrons tried to find somebody to turn off the pump, and adults on the scene attempted to pry the child free. A guest at the resort saw the situation and tried giving the boy mouth-to-mouth underwater.
“While he was under, I tried to breathe air into him, because he was underwater for a while,” the police report quoted him.
First responders came on the scene. Four adults, including guests and first responders, finally removed the boy, after which EMS performed CPR.
According to local press accounts, the boy was on a ventilator for eight days and spent three days in a medically induced coma. He is attending school again, his mother told local media, however the family is concerned about possible brain damage.
The child’s mother also said the boys were lifting the grate because a part of one boy’s goggles had fallen through.
According to the police report, hotel management produced rusty screws that were said to be attached to the drain cover. “The screws were very rusted and in small pieces,” the report said.
Police were further told by the manager that a tool was required to pry up the drain cover. However, the report says the officer watched video and saw no object such as a tool in the children’s hands. After the hotel drained the pool for the investigation, the police watched staff remove screws from one corner of a different drain grate. The officer asked the staffer to try removing the cover with his bare hands, with only the one corner loose and the other three still secured.
“[He] grabbed the grate with both hands and popped up the grate where the other three corners had screws and the screws popped out,” the report said.
The pool was closed for mandated repairs and an inspection by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. It was cleared to reopen March 27.
The DHEC conducts at least two unannounced inspections of public pools every year during the swim season. The most recent inspection before the entrapment, conducted in June, 2017, showed the pool in compliance.