Lawton boy's drowning puts spotlight on water safety - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Lawton boy's drowning puts spotlight on water safety

Lawton_A 12-year-old Lawton boy died after being submerged in a hotel swimming pool.  The child was found on Sunday, unconscious at the bottom of a pool at the Best Western Hotel near I-44.  Officials say that bystanders pulled the boy from the water and began cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until paramedics arrived.  They say he may have been underwater for about five minutes. 

Police are still investigating, so it remains unclear what happened.  They say he was swimming alone, but his tragedy may have been prevented with something as simple as the buddy system.  The boy was swimming at a hotel pool that had no lifeguard on duty.  While that type of situation is not unusual, swim instructor Crystal Gabriel says it still isn't a good thing.  "Anything can happen, whether it's a little child, even an adult - anyone," she said.  "Even the best swimmer can become tired, or distressed or even get a simple cramp that can take you down."

Gabriel says the risk of drowning is why she teaches water safety at the Lawton YMCA.  Aside from basic swimming, she ensure that her students learn how to put on a life jacket, call 911, and learn basic rescue techniques.  "Also to make sure they are using the buddy system if they are out there without their parent," she said.  "That way two people can be in the pool at all times, and they can each keep an eye on each other."

Diving injuries are also a very common danger in the summer.  Be sure to check the depth of water before entering a pool or lake.  The American Red Cross recommends 9-feet as a minimum depth for diving or jumping.  If you own a pool or often participate in water recreation, learning CPR could help you save a life.

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