Huge Verdict for Family in Drowning Lawsuit

December 20, 2018

A record-breaking verdict was recently handed down in an Illinois civil lawsuit involving the drowning death of six-year-old Michal Duda. After deliberating only an hour and 20 minutes, jurors awarded the family of the child 21.5 million dollars. This is the highest verdict for a drowning in the state of Illinois. It’s also among the highest for the death of a child in the state.

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Camera Placed by Employee Captures Illicit Images

October 26, 2018

An employee at an aquatics center was arrested after a camera was found in the changing area for lifeguards at the facility. Upon further investigation, the police discovered the camera was synced to the employee’s phone and was used to film an underage lifeguard changing her clothes. Video footage showed that the employee placed the camera specifically to capture the lifeguard changing. The employee’s phone was found to have other images of child pornography on it when the police searched it.

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Photos and Children-What Should an Organization Do?

June 26, 2018

One of our loss prevention experts reported an interesting situation at a facility with a swimming pool. After taking photos of their children playing in the pool, a parent posted them online. Another parent, whose child was visible in the photos, was upset to see their child on the internet and complained to the facility. With smart phones, everyone has a camera in their hands these days and parents are often documenting their kids’ activities and then sharing them on the internet. So how can organizations handle these situations?

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Swimmer Saves Rival from Drowning

April 27, 2018

At a high school swim meet in Michigan, Xavier Staubs had just finished the last leg of a relay race. He noticed one of his rivals, Kamrin Samson, in another lane struggling and sinking to the bottom. Fans in the stands were frantically signaling that the swimmer needed help. Xavier, with the help of another teammate, dove to the bottom and pulled Kamrin up and out of the pool, perhaps saving his life. Kamrin indicated that he may have held his breath too long during his leg of the relay.

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Life Jackets in Pools?

June 28, 2017

The warm weather is finally here and families and children are heading to pools and lakes to cool down. Swimming is a standard summer activity but many adults and children aren't strong swimmers. This can lead to terrible drowning tragedies if non-swimmers get into water that’s too deep. While lifeguards are there to protect swimmers in many situations, this isn’t always the case.

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Private Personal Training at the Y?

March 30, 2017

One of our loss prevention experts recently received a question that many YMCAs and larger fitness facilities face. Employees at this YMCA noticed some of their members using the facility to train other members. This isn't an unusual occurrence. Someone who wants to make money with their skills offers to provide training for others, using the YMCA or fitness center as a meeting place. They could be offering swim lessons, sports training, personal training, or other services.

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Pool Safety: Starting Blocks

February 27, 2017

Last month, one of our loss prevention experts was at a YMCA pool. A swimmer was up on a starting block getting ready to jump into the pool when suddenly the block broke, sending the platform and the swimmer crashing into the pool. When our rep and the aquatics director looked at the broken starting block, they discovered the galvanized bolts holding it together had completed corroded and rusted (see photo below).

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Keeping Pools Safe with Swim Tests

October 31, 2016

Too often here at West Bend we receive frightening near-drowning claims. These claims can result in serious injury and many times the victims are children. A child who can’t swim wanders into the deep end during a pool party. A child who’s supposed to be wearing a lifejacket takes it off and no one notices. A child who can’t swim tells her parents she will be in another area of the Y but instead decides to go swimming with her friend. These dangerous scenarios happen all the time.

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Drowning Tragedy at YMCA Pool

February 19, 2016

Last month, a talented swimmer on the Dartmouth College swim team was exercising in a Florida YMCA pool while on vacation with his family.  After a challenging 4000-yard swim set, he attempted four laps across the pool without taking a breath. Unfortunately, he was not successful.

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Can you beat this drowning simulator?

August 13, 2015

Many people think that if someone is drowning, it will be extremely obvious. Lots of splashing, screaming for help, and arm waving. But this almost never happens. The Instinctive Drowning Response, a phrase coined by Francesco A. Pia, PhD, prevents someone from waving or calling for help. Their bodies focus on breathing, not speaking, and their hands and arms are often instinctively pushing down on the water, not waving for help. This makes it much harder for lifeguards to spot victims.

A fantastic new website lets you see this for yourself. Computer programmer Francisco Saldaña created

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