A 33-year-old man died at a water park in Federal Way, Washington, on Saturday in what’s described as a “chaotic” scene that played out in front of lifeguards. This is the second death at a water park in the U.S. this month after 10-year-old Caleb Schwab was killed on the Verruckt water slide at Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City, Kansas, on August 7.
According to KIRO 7, a man was in one of the activity pools at Wild Waves Theme Park when he drowned. Paramedics attempted CPR to revive him but were unsuccessful. Reports are suggesting that lifeguards are culpable in the man’s death at the water park due to ineptness. Some onlookers said the scene was “chaotic,” and that lifeguards were debating about what to do when the 6-foot-tall, 240-pound victim was struggling in the water.
Wild Wave issued a statement following the man’s death at the water park.
“At approximately 5:30 pm Saturday evening, our lifeguards pulled a 33-year-old male from the Activity Pool,” says the statement. “Lifeguards and first responder teams immediately administered CPR and 911 was called. At 5:33 pm, South King Fire and Rescue crews arrived on scene and continued rescue efforts. Unfortunately, the man did not regain consciousness. We are helping authorities with the follow-up investigation. Our thoughts are with the family in this difficult time.”
SKFR and Medic One did respond to Wildwaves for CPR. Crews performed CPR but were not able to resuscitate. pic.twitter.com/JInn9s5TF5
— South King Fire (@Southkingfire) August 21, 2016
According to former Wild Waves Theme Park lifeguard, Brad Lampman, he noticed that the lifeguards on duty at the park don’t appear to take their jobs seriously enough. He told KOMO News that he fears for his family and the safety of others when he goes to a water park now because the guards don’t take their jobs “seriously enough.”
Lampman added that when he visited the park on Sunday, one of the guards was busy talking with friends.
“You know, you’re a lifeguard and I think they need to take that a little more seriously,” said Lampman. “They weren’t watching, one of the girls was sitting there talking to her friends.”
— Denise Whitaker (@deniseonKOMO) August 22, 2016
South King Fire and Rescue officials haven’t released any other details surrounding the man’s death at the water park at this time. Circumstances that led to the man’s drowning aren’t revealed. Several witnesses describe the victim as heavy-set.
Wild Waves officials said lifeguards pulled the man out of the pool and began administering CPR until first responders arrived on the scene to take over. KIRO 7 reports that the activity pool where the drowning happened was closed, but visitors were able to use other attractions at the park.
— KOMO News (@komonews) August 22, 2016
Firefighters remind people that there are risks with any body of water. It only takes one teaspoon of water to in the lungs to drown.
The Wild Waves Theme Park incident is a stark reminder of what happened to young Caleb Schwab at Schlitterbahn Water Park. The 10-year-old was on a life raft with two other women when he was killed on the Verruckt water slide. On the way down the slide, his velcro restraints came loose and caused his head to hit a metal fixture going 65 mph on the 168-foot-tall slide. He broke his neck as a result of the impact. The ride has since been completely shut down, and an investigation into his death is ongoing. Issues with weight distribution on water rafts are believed by engineering analysts to possibly play a role in the tragedy.
More details on the man who died at the Wild Waves water park have yet to be released by authorities.
[Photo via Shutterstock]