Re: Scout drowning at camp
Timothy J. O'Leary (tjo@IMSNET.NET)
Fri, 24 Jul 1998 19:04:34 -0400
This posting brings up two issues:
1. Physical fitness: This includes lots of things, including meds and
medical conditions. An important part of the safe swim defense. The Class
2 physical has room for this information, and, no doubt, the camp staff
flagged the physical. Whether or not the waterfront staff should have been
told depends on what the physician wrote on the form. If he indicated that
the condition was controlled by medication, then probably not. Without
such, waterfront staff should probably have been given a "heads up."
2. How deep was the water? It should not be more than 12 feet, and the
person in the boat should have been a BSA lifeguard, and they should have
been close enough to shore or to a diving platform to get a second rescuer
to the boat/victim, the victim from the bottom, and the two towed back to
shore by the second rescuer called for help, within a four minute window.
The Scout might well still have died, though.
I personally believe that mile swim should take place within the marked swim
area. This almost invariably reduces the time for rescue considerably, and
puts the Scout within ready reach of a platform that is suitable for CPR.
Problem with a rowboat is that if the Scout goes under, the rescuer can get
the Scout back up, but cannot get him into the boat for CPR.
I am not second guessing the waterfront staff, because I don't know the
situation. This tragedy points out how important it can be to think through
the "worst case scenario" whenever serving as the responsible adult at a
My prayers go out to the family of this Scout.
Tim O'Leary (M.D.), CC Troop 772, Post 769, BSA Lifeguard and other hats
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City