Two weeks ago my husband and I took five of our nieces and nephews for the weekend.
We went to out neighborhood community pool for the day for swimming and fun. All five (ages 4-12) have taken swimming lessons and the 4 year old had on arm floaties as an extra precaution.
We know the lifeguards well at our neighborhood pool and they asked who had taken swim lessons. They are vigilant, thank goodness.
While we were swimming, I turned my head to look at the other 3 children to my right. In a span of about five seconds, my 7 year old nephew to the left of me stepped into deeper water and got a big enough gulp of water to make him panic and begin to drown. Drowning is silent and quick. The lifeguard blew her whistle and was pulling him out within seconds. Afterwards when we pieced together what happened she said that the whole ordeal from me turning my head to her reaching him lasted 10-15 seconds. It can happen so quickly.
She pulled him out and he had lost consciousness for a few moments. She was about to start CPR. These moments seemed like an eternity for all of us and honestly, they were the worst and most agonizing moments of my life.
A gentleman who was there with his kids stepped over the lifeguard and the lifeless body of my nephew and began to point his camera and take pictures. I screamed at him to get out of the way and stop taking pictures. When he continued, my husband screamed at him several times and he finally walked away. This all happened during the precious moments that the lifeguard was assessing and attempting to revive him. Turns out she didn’t need to do CPR. He began breathing on his own very quickly.
I’m so very thankful that this story has a happy ending but was absolutely astonished and appalled at this man’s behavior.
I told the lifeguard afterwards what happened and she said she hadn’t known about any of that because she was so focused. She went up to the man and demanded his camera and deleted the pictures he took and asked him to leave. He did so without ever saying anything to us.
Again I’m so happy this story has a happy ending. As a side note, please be careful this summer in the pool. And please, before you make any comments about us not being careful or cautious, we absolutely were. Children drown with the most careful of parents nearby. 0625-15
Similar situation this past week when a 12 year old girl had her arm bitten off by a shark while swimming in the ocean at a beach in North Carolina. Someone took photos of the scene on the beach afterwards as people worked on her and these were plastered all over the news.
Even though these incidents do occur in public, bystanders should show some discretion, restraint and empathy to not take photos.