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According to news reports, 14-year old Eric Saldana of Chaparral New Mexico drowned at the Wet ‘n Wild pool last Friday during a school field trip. Park officials said that the park was equipped with lifeguards that day.

He was found at the bottom of the volcano pool just inside the park Accounts of the event were being given by witnesses and lifeguards from the facility. My questions that need to be answered were what were the lifeguards doing and was the park overcrowded with too many students. There were several schools there that day for field trips.

If you have a weak swimmer that gets into trouble, the lifeguards should begin to take action immediately to save that individuals life. How long was he under before he was found? Another question that should be answered by all. I hope the family finds answers to what went wrong at that once again the importance of swimming pool safety and design is brought to light. For more information about lifeguards and pool issues you can visit our site at

As a swimming pool safety lawyer these cases are what we work on daily. It is important that the people involved be truthful and forthcoming with any and all information for the benefit of finding out how this tragedy could have happened with lifeguards on staff and chaperones watching the kids. It has similar facts to another tragic case out of Port Aransas, Texas involving a resort and students on a band trip that our firm was involved in.

Other questions that may follow may be who planned the trip? Was a tour guide used? What was the history of the water park and has this happened there before? Was there adequate staffing? What about the volcano pool? Was it designed in such a way that it prevented him from being seen? What was the clarity of the water and did it prevent him from being seen or rescued for some time? All this should be examined during the investigation by authorities and may help solve this case.

In the end the truth of what took place will surface. My prayers go out to the family and all the students who witnessed this horrible tragedy.


  1. Gravatar for Life Guard

    There was adequate staffing in the park. The lifeguards at Wet N' Wild are NASCo (National Aquatic Saftey Company) certified. And the lifeguards undergo continous inservices to refresh on their life saving skills.

    You must understand that the lifeguard that pulled Eric out did everything possible, but even under the best circumstances CPR is only 30% effective. I know for a fact there have been incidents at this park when CPR must be preformed, and the person survives, but nobody ever talks about those. Its just not fair, and my prayers go out to Eric and his family, but everything was done to save him.

    The fastest recorded drowning is in 38 seconds. So please don't blame the lifeguard. In the time he scans the pool, controls traffic on the nearby waterfall, notices a body underwater and jumps into action, 38 seconds is a blink of an eye.

  2. Gravatar for Texas Safety Lawyer
    Texas Safety Lawyer

    The life guard standards are designed to rescue swimmers in that amount of time. Other factors generally can lead to answers of why it took so long to find Eric.

    The incident is under investigation and time will tell. As they say the truth usually rises to the top after things develop. It was also stated that someone other than a lifeguard pulled him out.

  3. Gravatar for TX-EMT

    Life Guard (above): "The lifeguards at Wet N' Wild are NASCO (National Aquatic Safety Company) certified."

    October 9, 2007 Houston Press cover story, "Fighting for Air: Drowning and the Heimlich Maneuver," re: NASCO's controversial lifeguard training program:

    January 23, 2009 Austin Chronicle follow-up, "Swimming in Controversy - The Heimlich maneuvers":

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