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Boy drowns at at Kalahari Resorts, Sandusky water park


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^^And that totally sucks for many reasons.

 

First off wearing a 'water park life jacket' gives parents and kids a false sense of security. You can still drown wearing one, and it doesn't help kids learn to swim or help themselves at all.

 

Secondly, some kids don't like or want to wear them; and banning them for then getting to do the water activities suck. Especially when they have nice supervising parents that would hold them and help them in the water.

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I just don't see how this happened. I hesitate to blame lifeguards, after all, they have a VERY tough job, and have to overlook hundreds of people. The park may need to hire more lifeguards, to help prevent this from happening again. I do have one question. Why in the world would the parents of this 3 YEAR OLD, leave him alone, or just not be watching him very closely. Besides drowning, the child could have been kidnapped! My thoughts, and prayers are with everyone involved.

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As a former waterpark guard of many years my thoughts are mixed, First I feel for them as they must all be going through hell, lifeguarding is serious business and complacency has sometimes fatal consequences. Someone screwed up hard here, blame rests equally on the parents and the lifeguards. The parents didn't watch their kid. The lifeguard didn't do their job and now someone is dead.

 

I stayed at Kalahari awhile back and the guards were if anything too attentive, If I floated too close to the wall *tweeet* to close to the rope *tweeet* etc... its possible they spent too much time watching for petty rule violations than properly scanning their zone. That same thing caused me to miss a infant dummy during an audit while lifeguarding years ago. Because I was preoccupied with yelling at kids for doing dumb stuff I didn't see that dummy for a good 2 minutes. When I was told how long it took me to see it I crapped myself. Someone could have died on my watch because I was preoccupied with unimportant things.

 

Does anyone know if Kalahari guards are audited regularly?

 

Its always a tragedy when stuff like this happens of course.

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Umm we were really not supposed to do live audits messes the flow up on normal operations. But the headguards are supposed to watch the lifeguards and review them. Oh and its supposed to be a tube length away from the rope in the wavepool

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IMO, Live audits kept people on their toes and while it tended to mess with the guests/ operations some it was a worthy exchange for having diligent guards and getting rid of the inattentive ones. Also the surprise audits by the licensing company kept things even further in check, No one every really knew if a auditor was taping them.

 

While it was extremely rare, I did see a guard or two in my many years of watching water get yanked off the stand by the ellis auditor and their lifeguard license revoked on the spot for being inattentive. Sucked to be them but they were obviously a liability. They ended up dispatching slides for the remainder of the summer.

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I was Nasco for a couple years after I hung up my Ellis hat (changed employers) , Nasco is basically Ellis light and auditing is only done once a season and is announced. CPR and backboarding is not emphasized by nasco. As a ellis guard you had better be able to board that person get them outta the water and then do CPR, AR and Heimlich pronto. Nasco was more keep them above water and drag them to shore and hand em over to park EMT's. My understanding is its much cheaper for the park as well. Hell our supervisors used to make us do backboarding in water deeper than we can stand, that was a workout and a half.

 

A female co-worker of mine left the nasco property (Pioneer Waterland) for a nearby ellis property (geauga lake) once, she came back to the nasco, describing the multi year platinum ellis property as "lifeguard boot camp" Which in all honesty it was, it was drilled into our heads at that property day in day out and we had almost 10 years of ellis platinum awards on the wall to show for it.

 

We actually begged management to send us to the lifeguard national competition without success, they claimed it would be a liability if they sent the "elite guards" off and a accident happened in our absence. dumb management.......

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Ya when I was working for White Water at Atlanta last year, we had a person form Ellis as the manager for all aquatics operations. That guy made us point and look at the edges of our water every 10 seconds. It got pretty annoying when doing that all day and having guests ask why are you pointing at the water so much.

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