What was supposed to be a day of celebration for a Cleveland family celebrating a family birthday party turned tragic on New Year’s Eve in a Cleveland Hotel according Cleveland Metro News. Ten year-old Demeion Bell was one of 20-30 children who arrived to celebrate the party that night.
The boy was found lifeless at the bottom of the nine foot pool at the Doubletree Hotel in Cleveland Ohio. There were no lifeguards on staff at the time of the drowning. Having worked on numerous hotel pool drowning cases, there are questions that must be asked of the Hotel. What was the water clarity level that prevented an African American boy from Boeing seen at the bottom of the pool?, Why were there no lifeguards?, and why have a 9 foot deep pool? Lastly, was the pool overcrowded and who was supervising the pool area?
Often times hotel pools are being operated without any supervision with regard to bather loads and how many people were actually in the pool. A crowded pool can increase the odds of danger because many swimmers will prevent a child who is being supervised from being seen if that child gets into trouble. A common issue is also whether or not the pool lights were working on the night of the drowning. Poorly lit swimming pools can also hinder rescue efforts. Pool lights around the pool are also very important to pool safety. A pool must have proper lighting in and around the pool to be safe.
With regards to water clarity, the main drain in the deepest part of the pool must be able to be seen at all times. If you cannot see the drain in the deepest part of the pool, that pool MUST be closed immediately. A properly trained pool staff is also essential to ensuring a safe swimming experience for all pool guests of the hotel. This situation is tragic and many answers and facts about what exactly went wrong will no doubt soon surface.
Hotel pools are a lucrative amenity for hotels, especially indoor pools that can be used year round. Its important for owners and operators of pools to make sure that the pool is indeed safe for use when open to the public.