Two Girls Nearly Drown at West Yarmouth Hotel

yarmouth poolYARMOUTH – Two girls who almost drowned in a West Yarmouth motel pool last night are in critical condition at Children’s Hospital in Boston today.

Yarmouth Police are investigating the near drowning that took place at the Bayside Resort in West Yarmouth Wednesday.

Two girls, one nine and one twelve, were pulled from the bottom of the deep end of the resort’s indoor pool at about 7:30 last night by relatives and bystanders.

CPR was performed by hotel staff and rescue crews.

Yarmouth Police K9 Patrol Officer Marc Thibeault and Yarmouth Police Patrol Officer Michael Zontini arrived within minutes and were able to provide CPR on each child.

The girls were first taken to Cape Cod Hospital, which is about one mile from the motel, then taken by Medflighted to Children’s Hospital in Boston.

Initial reports described the girls as having serious and life threatening injuries.

The girls were staying at the hotel with family. The two victims are sisters from New York.

The Yarmouth Police Department is currently conducting a follow-up investigation with the assistance of the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Department and the Massachusetts State Police.

The preliminary investigation indicates that the children were swimming in the indoor pool and were being supervised by an uncle. There were also other non-related children and adults in the pool and in the pool area.

The two victims were observed at the bottom of the 8 foot deep section and were pulled out of the water by motel guests and family members. Guests performed untrained CPR until Yarmouth Police and Fire arrived.

Pool water was clear and the pool was recently inspected by the Town of Yarmouth Health Department as part of the annual certification process. There was no lifeguard on duty at the time of the incident.

The investigation is active and ongoing.

Yarmouth police have released the following information about drowning victims:

Drowning is the second-most common cause of accidental death in children ages 1 to 14 (just behind motor vehicle accidents). In a 2004 study by a national safety group, 90 percent of children who drowned did so while under the care of an adult or a teenager. In many cases, the study suggests, that person had a momentary lapse of attention. But the fact is that often those watching don’t know what to look for—because drowning doesn’t look like drowning. To ward off a tragedy in the making, watch for the 8 signs that someone is in trouble.

1. A drowning person can’t call for help—she has to be able to breathe before she can speak. When a person is drowning, her mouth sinks below and reappears above the surface of the water. There isn’t time for her to exhale, inhale, and call out.

2. She can’t wave for help either. A drowning person instinctively extends her arms to the sides and presses down to lift her mouth out of the water; a child may extend her arms forward. She can’t use her arms to move toward a rescuer or reach for rescue equipment.

3. A drowning person remains upright in the water, with no evidence of kicking. She can struggle for only 20 to 60 seconds before going under.

4. Eyes are glassy, unable to focus, or closed.

5. Hair may be over forehead or eyes.

6. Head is low in the water, with mouth at water level; head may be tilted back with mouth open. A child’s head may fall forward.

7. Sometimes the most important indicator that someone is drowning is that she doesn’t look like she’s drowning. She may just seem to be looking up at the sky, shore, pool deck, or dock. Ask her, “Are you all right?” If she can answer at all, she probably is. If she returns a blank stare, you may have less than 30 seconds to get to her.

8. Children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you need to get to them and find out why.
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