Boy rescued from Burgess Pool 'doing well,' city official says


The aftermath has been a positive one so far for a 6-year-old boy rescued Sunday from a swimming pool by a lifeguard at Burgess Park in Menlo Park, according to Derek Schweigart, community services manager for the city.

The boy was released from the hospital Monday, said Mr. Schweigart. "We're very thankful that we had a positive outcome of the situation and that the child is doing well," he said.

Menlo Swim and Sport, the private contractor that operates the swimming pools at Burgess Park, is investigating what happened and will keep the city "in the loop," Mr. Schweigart said.

Menlo Swim and Sport has not yet responded to an interview request. In an emailed statement, spokesman Joe Perez said that the company "will conduct a full investigation of the incident and will provide additional details as they become available."

At about 3:45 p.m. Sunday, July 19, "lifeguards noticed a young boy on the bottom of the instructional pool," Mr. Perez said in the statement.

Mr. Schweigart, in summarizing the results of a meeting with Menlo Swim and Sport, said he was told that a pool patron saw the boy and notified lifeguards.

The boy was not breathing when he was brought to the surface, Mr. Schweigart said. Lifeguards laid him on the pool deck and the lifeguard supervisor performed a successful "rescue-breath" operation and expelled water from the boy's lungs, Mr. Schweigart said. Lifeguards did not perform CPR as had been previously reported, he added.

Medics arrived, took over care for the boy and transferred him to Stanford hospital for treatment and observation, Mr. Perez said.

Menlo Swim and Sport's investigation will include whether the boy received the appropriate level of care and whether the incident was well handled, Mr. Schweigart said. While the city is "pretty confident" that the evaluation will be thorough, "clearly, we're going to be keeping a close eye on the results," he said.

As to reports that the 17-year-old lifeguard who performed the rescue had appeared panicked and scared, Mr. Schweigart noted that first responders are vulnerable to such reactions. They train with plastic dummies, he said. "Their training kicked in to perform the rescue," he said.

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29 people like this
Posted by MP resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 21, 2015 at 11:40 am

Thank you for highlighting the quick response and excellent rescue that our youth lifeguards performed this weekend. They are just kids, but are trained to keep us all safe at the pool. The guard and the entire lifeguard staff performed as we would have hoped in this scary situation. I would expect them to be a little freaked out afterwards. The Daily Post article was sensationalized and seemed to be trying to turn a positive rescue in to a bigger story. I wish the boy and the lifeguard well and hope you both are back out there soon.

2 people like this
Posted by Newsworthy
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 21, 2015 at 12:45 pm

Yes, the Posts reported: a woman who was nearby said the lifeguards were "panicked." This may or may not be true, but we hope the Almanac will have their own bar for what is newsworthy.

4 people like this
Posted by Stop the Trolls
a resident of another community
on Jul 21, 2015 at 1:29 pm

Why give the Palo Alto Daily Rag ANY credibility? It's a tabloid, pure and simple.

8 people like this
Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 21, 2015 at 1:58 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

So what else is news about the Palo Rag. It was a standard way of writing for them, kinda like Fox news.

1 person likes this
Posted by Caleb
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jul 21, 2015 at 5:09 pm

What was inaccurate in the Post's story? I don't see anything in this story that contradicts the Post's story. Am I missing something or are the comments above from the usual trolls?

6 people like this
Posted by Newsworthy
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 21, 2015 at 7:31 pm

Post reporters can ask leading questions to help generate their ridiculous headlines.

4 people like this
Posted by MP resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 21, 2015 at 9:19 pm

Seems like the story is a boys life saved by great lifeguards not some lady who decided to be a critic after the fact and a reporter who wanted a headline and cherry picked or fabricated the negative side to sell some more free newspapers. Thanks Almanac for setting the record straight.

3 people like this
Posted by Amando
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Jul 21, 2015 at 10:25 pm

"pool patron saw the boy and notified lifeguards" … how does that make the lifeguards heroes? Shouldn't they have been watching the people in the pool?

5 people like this
Posted by Concerned mom
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jul 22, 2015 at 9:00 am

I'm concerned the lifeguard wasn't scanning for people in the pool and had to be told by a patron that there was a 6-year-old boy at the bottom of the pool. This boy would have died if this pool patron hadn't spoken up. This unidentified patron should be declared the "hero" ... Not the lifeguard who wasn't paying attention. I hope there is an investigation to make sure this doesn't happen again. My family uses that pool and I find this to be troubling.

I don't think the Post should be bashed for reporting facts we don't want to hear. They would have looked liked fools if they had called this lifeguard a hero without the facts.

1 person likes this
Posted by Concerned Central Menlo Parent
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 22, 2015 at 1:44 pm

Agree. That was my first thought. Were the lifeguards scanning the pool and diving in to save the boy when the patron spoke up? Or did the patron alert the lifeguards who were not scanning the pool?

9 people like this
Posted by ex-lifeguard
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 22, 2015 at 6:40 pm

I was a lifeguard for 6 years and a lifeguard instructor for 2. It is more common than not that a patron will alert a lifeguard to someone in need of rescue under the surface during busy times. I haven't read much about this incident but from the article it seems that this was a routine scenario. No matter how hard one tries there will always be incidents like this at pools, it is the lifeguard's job to try and prevent emergencies and to act accordingly when they happen. As for the patron's comment about the lifeguards "looking panicked", they probably did. This is most likely the first time the lifeguard had to employ their training and asking someone to perform like a seasoned veteran their first time out without training wheels is just silly.

On another note, I think the term hero is above this incident. The patron who notified the lifeguard surely should be commended, but nothing heroic was done on their part. As for the lifeguards and other medical professionals involved they were doing their jobs. Everybody involved should be commended on what they did, but there are no heroes. This is an example of a very respectable person doing the responsible thing and trained personnel doing their jobs to achieve a positive result from an emergency.

Like this comment
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jul 24, 2015 at 4:49 pm

I live a block away from the pool, and drove by after this incident occurred over the weekend. I can say after many visits to the pool with my own family that the staff at Menlo Swim are completely worthless. I can't say anything about the lifeguards, but I can say that a lifeguard was not the person who noticed that a child was at the bottom of the pool- it was another child who alerted the lifeguard. I'm not trying to criticize our youth, but actual people aren't plastic dummies and if the first responder was panicked, someone else at Menlo Swim should have helped. I always see 10 other people floating around the area doing absolutely nothing.

The open swim area setup at Burgess is mind boggling to me. There is a whole lap pool and yet, even on the weekends, the open swim pool is only 1/3 open for open swim!! This results in an overcrowding of the swim area and a perfect situation for terrible accidents to happen. I don't even feel safe in there on a crowded day. It doesn't make sense to me that they have most of that pool closed off for lap swimming. Oh and not to mention -- if they have swim lessons you aren't even allowed to use the stairs to get into the pool. I had to have my 6 month old handed to me by someone I had never met before after I got into the pool.

1 person likes this
Posted by Caroline
a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on Jul 26, 2015 at 2:18 pm

I'm so glad the boy survived, but I'm wondering where was his parent when this happened? Having used the Burgess Pool facilities in years past, I saw many parents not at poolside paying attention to their children, and it frightened me. The lifeguard has so much to watch for, but the first watcher should always be the parent or caregiver.

Like this comment
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jul 27, 2015 at 10:41 am

I agree with the above post. Where was the child's guardian? I also see many unsupervised children and it scares me. Also scary are older children rough-housing in the pool and not paying attention to the smaller kids around them.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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