13-Year-Old Boy Dies in Pool Accident at Disney Resort

13 Year Old Boy Dies in Pool Accident at Disney Resort

Anthony Johnson had been playing in a pool at Disney’s Pop Century Resort on Sunday.  The Resort is located in the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Lake Buena Vista, near Orlando.  No lifeguards were on duty at the time; signs were posted warning that swimmers swam at their own risk.

He had been jumping in and out of the pool with friends when he was noticed missing.  A few minutes later he was pulled out of the water.  The Missouri boy died on Tuesday, two days after the accident.

Ten people die every day from unintentional drowning in the United States, making it the fifth-leading cause of unintentional injury death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 20% are under the age of 14. Nearly 80% are male.

“The first thing to remember is that drowning doesn’t just happen,” says Alison Osinski, water safety expert and president of Aquatic Consulting Services. “Something always precipitates drowning.”

“We are saddened by Anthony Johnson’s passing and our hearts go out to his family, friends and loved ones,” a statement from Disney said. “We have reached out to his family to offer care and assistance during this difficult time.”

William Cybulski, a firefighter who was vacationing from Buffalo, New York, said he helped another vacationing firefighter and a doctor give CPR to the boy.

“You never want to see something like that, especially when you’re on vacation, or any child in general no matter where you are,” Cybulski told CNN affiliate WKMG.

Cybulski’s girlfriend, Crystal Loschiavo, told the station that she did her best to keep the family calm, and tried to soothe Johnson’s brother.

“The little boy was really upset that it was his brother,” Loschiavo said. “He kept saying ‘this is my only brother, this is my only brother. I don’t want anything to happen to him.'”

Osinski says water accidents happen quickly.  Swimmers often get in situations they are unable to handle and become disoriented.  She calls it “active drowning”, which may be a little deceptive.

If a young swimmer panics, he or she may struggle to get oxygen.  If the they are in the water at eye level , the head will tilt back, and in about 20 seconds they will begin to sink.  The swimmer will hold their breath for 30 to 90 seconds.  If he or she is rescued in that time period they will usually be fine.  After 90 seconds, they will become unconscious, and rescue after that interval will usually result in some brain damage.

Osinski reminds us that children need constant vigilance when swimming in 4 feet of water or more.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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