After a 7-year-old girl was found unconscious at the bottom of a public swimming pool in northeast Washington, D.C., on Labor Day, pool patrons immediately questioned how it was that another swimmer, and not a lifeguard, was the rescuer who saw her and pulled her to safety.
The lifeguards did administer resuscitation to the girl, who woke up at the scene and then was taken to a hospital.
Shawn Zeller, a witness who says he called 911, reported that when he arrived at the Langdon Park pool a short time before the event, both lifeguard stands were empty. He said that a few minutes after 4 p.m., the girl was pulled by another patron from the bottom of the shallow end of the pool, directly in front of one of the lifeguard stands, which in the meantime did have a guard sitting in it, who apparently didn’t see the girl in front of him.
Zeller told the Washington Post:
“It’s astonishing to me that there were not two lifeguards in both chairs and another lifeguard walking the deck when you’ve got a full-capacity pool on a 95-degree Labor Day.”
D.C. Parks and Recreation officials say they’re looking into the event, which happened on the last day of the pool’s summer season.