Waterslides

‘Wild Waves’ Drowning: Lifeguards Didn’t Believe Children

New details have emerged regarding the recent drowning of a 32-year-old man at the Wild Waves and Enchanted Village theme park in Federal Way, Washington reported earlier this week by the Inquisitr. Vijayarengan Srinivasan died on Saturday from asphyxia due to drowning and was ruled an accident by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office reported the Seattle Times earlier today.

“Our entire team is greatly saddened by this loss and we are working to fully understand the circumstances around this tragic accident,” the Wild Waves statement says. “During this very difficult time, our thoughts and prayers are with the guest’s family.”

Srinivasan had recently moved to Seattle about two weeks earlier taking a new job as a programmer for Infosys in Bellevue and was visiting the waterslide and roller coaster theme parks with a friend. According to police records, he had a wife and 3-year-old child still living in India.

It was reported that after lunch, the two friends were at Wild Wave’s activity pool area and contemplated jumping off the rock platform into the 10-foot deep pool, but Srinivasan decided not to and told his friend that he might try out the waterslides nearby instead. The two men got separated and after 20 to 30 minutes later, the friend returned to see lifeguards giving Srinivasan CPR.

In the police report, one lifeguard jumped in the pool to investigate what she thought might have been a body at the bottom of the pool, but since the water was “murky” she told her boss that she did not find anything. Another lifeguard was approached by children telling him that they saw a body in the pool, but he dismissed them saying the he “believed that they were pranking him and did not think anything of it.”

In another report by Q13 Fox, Alexa Bugg stated that she and her brother also tried to tell a lifeguard at Wild Waves of the situation but they were ignored. Another guest, Al Henderson said he witnessed one of these conversations with a lifeguard. “He said, ‘I think someone is drowning’ and he told the lifeguards and then they came down and they said, ‘No, I just think they’re metal grates.'”

About 15 minutes later, guests were told to stop using the slides so that another lifeguard could retrieve a pair of prescription glasses in the pool and that is when the body was found. The report states that there were no witnesses that noticed the actual drowning of the man. With more than 8,500 people in the park, Wild Waves was extremely busy.

Eyewitness reports of the rescue attempts of the 6-foot-tall, 240-pound man vary. Reva Mickens, wife of Al Henderson said, “When he rolled over I said, ‘Listen you need to get him up.’ They said, ‘Ma’am back up.’ and I said, ‘No, let my husband pull him up you need to do two compressions.'” But Mike Binder said, “You could see the lifeguards were doing everything in their power to try to save this guy.”

On Sunday, Wild Waves reopened with the activity pool area roped off. “The ride that the accident happened on is completely closed down and roped off and extra employees making sure nobody goes around that area,” said a park guest.

Enchanted Village amusement park opened in 1977 with Wild Waves opening adjacent to in in 1984 becoming two parks that operated as one. In June of 1991, the park faced a similar probe regarding another death at the park. An 18-year-old woman had appeared to have drowned after sliding down one of the slides, but her death was attributed to cardiac arrhythmia and the autopsy showed no signs of drowning or injury.

[Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images]

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