New York

8-Year-Old Child Drowns in Backyard NY Pool; Man Pulled From Water Unconscious

This is the latest tragic incident in a string of recent tri-state drownings

Wallkill Police Department

An 8-year-old child drowned in a backyard pool over the holiday weekend in New York, police said.

Wallkill Police Department Deputy Chief Antonino Spano said that officers responded to a report of a possible child drowning at a residence on Fair Oaks Road shortly before 8 p.m. Sunday.

When police arrived, according to Spano, officers discovered a child partially submerged in the backyard pool and an unresponsive man on the grass by the pool.

The child and man were taken to Garnet Health Medical Center, where the child was pronounced dead. The man was last said to be hospitalized in critical condition, according to police.

It's just the latest in a series of similar and tragic water-related deaths that has officials and community advocates warning anew about safety.

A 2-year-old on Long Island was pulled from the water of a backyard pool in another drowning scare last week.

Yellow tape blocked off the residential area around Barbara Drive in Centereach, as the toddler went under at a home's pool. The boy, whose relatives own the home where the pool is located, was not breathing and was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital. He was said to be in serious condition as of Wednesday morning, according to a Suffolk County police update.

Additionally, just last week two 13-year-olds, Ryan Wong and Daniel Persaud, were with a group of friends along Jamaica Bay when they fell into the water and were swept away. Wong survived, while his friend Persaud did not.

Last month, another 2-year-old boy drowned in a backyard pool in Rockland County when the tri-state area was experiencing an unseasonably warm temperatures.

Drowning deaths are not just limited to New York. Various drownings have occurred in neighboring New Jersey over the past couple of weeks -- both in pools and open water.

Two people drowned at a New Jersey lake on the evening of June 14. Morris County officials said that EMS personnel were in the parking at Mine Hill Beach along Green Road after 5 p.m., when a group told them that two people went into the water at the sand pits and never came out.

The EMS contacted other first responders from the area, and immediately conducted a search, which came up empty for the 17-year-old and 20-year-old who disappeared, officials said.

Their bodies were recovered hours later.

In another tragedy, two brothers drowned at a school's indoor pool in Bayonne last week.

The school pool is open at night for community use, according to a city official, who said a lifeguard was on duty at the time of the incident. Their 11-year-old sister saw it happen, the official said.

The president of the Bayonne school board told NBC New York over the phone that there are two pools in the Lincoln Community School facility: the main pool where the community swim was held, and a smaller dive pool that is very deep.

The dive pool was closed and lifeguards were watching just the main pool — where everyone who was at the community swim event was supposed to be.

The two teen brothers, 16-year-old Jack Jiang and 19-year-old Chu Ming Zheng, drowned in that side dive pool, the school board official said. However, it was not immediately clear how the pair ended up in that pool.

Mary T. Mara, a veteran of television dramas including “ER,” “Nash Bridges” and “Law & Order,” was found dead in a river, New York State Police said on June 27. Police believe the actor, 61, drowned while swimming in the St. Lawrence River in the town of Cape Vincent on Sunday morning, state police said in a statement.

These recent drowning comes as the nation, including the state of New York, is dealing with a lifeguard shortage.

This national lifeguard shortage forced New York City to eliminate a number of their swimming programs just ahead of the summer months, the city announced earlier this month.

NYC Parks tweeted that a number of their swim programs at their outdoor pools are canceled this summer due to not having enough lifeguards.

"Due to the national lifeguard shortage, unfortunately we will not be hosting swim programs, including lap swim, senior swim, and Learn to Swim, at our outdoor pools this summer," the tweet read in part.

Additionally, in an effort to deal with the lifeguard staffing shortage New York is currently facing, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced last week pay increases for state lifeguards.

The governor directed starting pay rates for lifeguards at upstate facilities to increase 34 percent -- from $14.95 to $20 an hour -- and 21 percent for lifeguards at downstate facilities -- from $18.15 to $22 an hour.

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