Regulations for lifeguards at pools

Published: May. 26, 2018 at 8:47 PM EDT
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Monday, May 28, 2018

News 12 @ 6 O'clock / NBC at 7

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- In an instant, a fun day at the Rivershyre Neighborhood Pool turned deadly.

With no lifeguard on duty, incident reports show 6-year-old Jayden Kay died after being pulled from the water unconscious.

His mother told deputies Jayden was playing in the pool when she last saw him.

Neighbor Lawson Bailey was there when a group of pool-goers attempted to save Kay.

The former EMT helped perform CPR, according to the incident report, but Bailey says it was a group effort.

"It's so sad. Things like swim lessons, water safety classes, while it can't prevent it, it can help in staging off that from happening," said Amy McCarter, Aquatics Director at the Wilson Family YMCA.

Amy McCarter is the Aquatics Director at the Wilson Family YMCA.

"It's terrifying to see their child is in danger and being rescued," said McCarter.

The Y has a guard watching every pool on their deck. She says having a trained lifeguard can make the lifesaving difference during a crisis.

"It's a safety issue. Making sure you have trained staff who know what to look for in an emergency, who know what to look for in the case of an emergency," said McCarter.

A CDC study on lifeguard effectiveness notes "very small children can submerge in as little as 20 seconds [...] the inability of a person to call or wave for help and the short time period before submerging -- emphasize the need for lifeguards as a source for continuous surveillance and immediate action."

"I would feel safer, much safer at a lifeguarded pool," said McCarter.

Georgia DPH rules and regulations say "all owners, managers, or lifeguards, if provided, shall be responsible for the supervision and safety of the pool, spa, or recreational water park," but also says those rules don't apply to "subdivision pools which are open only to residents of the subdivision and their guests"

"I've done several saves and the important thing is that you're there, you recognize and you're able to recognize it right away," said McCarter.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

(News 12 at 6 o'clock)

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) --A Saturday in the sun turned out much worse after a six-year-old drowned in a subdivision pool. Investigators say when they got to Rivershyre Pool, Jayden Kay was being given CPR. He was taken to the hospital where he later died.

Jayden was just supposed to be visiting his friend but how this all happen is still very unclear. His neighbors say, they're heartbroken for his mother.

"Because it can happen to anybody's children." Neighbor Kendra Burns shook her head and continued, "I couldn't imagine how she feels."

Burns lives a few doors down from the Kay family. But his neighborhood, Meadow Grove, is a lot quieter because he went to

Rivershyre Villages on Saturday with his mom, and he didn't come back.

"We need to come together as a community and figure out what they can do to make that pool area safe for younger children as well."

There's a camera around the pool, but investigators say the footage does not tell the full story of what happened that evening. It only shows Jayden being pulled out. Investigators also add there were no witnesses. According to the incident report, it was not until Jayden's mom went looking for him that someone else found him in the water.

"I'm not blaming anybody for what happened because it was a tragedy," Burns said. "My heart goes out to the family because that's a

hard pill to swallow."

The pool gate remains locked and the area is closed off, with only maintenance being allowed in the secure and clean the area.

"If it's not a lifeguard on the scene and it's a privately owned pool, the parents have to be more attentive."

Rivershyre pool is privately owned, with an HOA Pool Chairperson, who says the community is still just trying to process this.

"But kids like to have fun so it's nothing that should be stopped." Burns added, "It shouldn't be a fear of taking your child to the pool."

For Burns, this is a tragic precautionary tale of safety, and for the two neighborhoods, it won't be the same without Jayden.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The Columbia County Coroner has identified the 6-year-old involved in a drowning earlier today as Jayden Kay of Augusta.

Kay was pronounced dead after drowning at a pool in the Rivershyre subdivision earlier today. The Columbia County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene around 4:15 P.M. When they arrived, a bystander was performing CPR on the 6-year-old.

Columbia County Deputy Coroner, Bonnie King, also responded to the call. Officials say the 6-year-old and his mom were visiting a family friend around 4:00 P.M. Investigators tell us the family friend said 6-year-old Kay was last seen swimming about 3 to 5 minutes before he was pulled out of the water. Deputies were called shortly after.

The coroner says a bystander found the 6-year-old at the bottom of the pool and attempted to do CPR.

Deputies on the scene tell us there were no witnesses. There were surveillance cameras at the pool, however, deputies said reviewing them did not provide any further answers as to what happened.

The 6-year-old was taken to Doctor's Hospital and pronounced dead at 5:09 P.M.

News 12 NBC 26 will continue to keep you updated on this developing story.