Local News

Child drowns in North Hills Club pool

Posted June 10, 2009
Updated June 12, 2009

— A 5-year-old boy drowned Wednesday evening at the North Hills Club pool in Raleigh, police said.

Police say a large party of about 50 people was going when the incident occurred. There were four lifeguards on duty.

The child had gone to the pool around 6 p.m. with his aunt and uncle, a pool spokesperson said. The adults were near the kiddie pool with another child when the 5-year-old somehow wandered into the big pool just after 7 p.m.

The North Hills Country Club pool in Raleigh Child drowns at Raleigh pool

Another swimmer spotted the child at the bottom of the pool. Lifeguards pulled him out of the water and performed CPR until paramedics arrived.

Paramedics transported the child by ambulance to WakeMed, where he died.

Police have not released his name.

A club spokesman says the drowning was a terrible accident.

The pool was closed Thursday, but it is expected to reopen tomorrow.


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  • msandersswim Jun 15, 2009

    This information is from an eye-witness not me, but a close friend.
    A swimmer did indeed notice that a kid was on the bottom of the pool. He grabbed him and dragged him to the lifeguard. From there realizing the urgency of the situation a doctor that was on the pool deck at the time began CPR while 911 was called. The Lifeguards did nothing, they didn't even clear the pool deck, which if anybody is a lifeguard knows needs to happen in that kind of situation. They didn't provide the appropriate care during the situation and the pool managment company had obviously not gone over Emergency Procedures with it's staff. The little kid that drowned was a guest there for the day with his aunt/uncle and did indeed wander from the little pool, which is not usually patrolled by life guards, to the big pool, which usually has at least 3 lifeguards watching. The lifeguards didn't do their job, North Hills should hire a new managment company for the pool. This kind of thing shouldn't happen.

  • boomylar Jun 12, 2009

    i haven't read all the many upon many comments for this one. The ones I did agree on.. yes the parents/family memeber/babysitter (no matter who was the adult he came with) should have been watching him. My heart and prayers goes out to his parents and family of this baby boy

  • tgw Jun 12, 2009

    Wow-what a variety of responses to such a tragic story!! Many point fingers, many are looking for information either not avalable or not to be reveiled for legal reasons. We will probably hear no more in the media because the next child will drown over the weekend. As much as we don't like to hear these stories, we continue to hear "child drowns at local pool-or at Falls or Jordan Lake".

    Are their solutions? Absolutely!! Will it continue to happen? Absolutely!! How do we stop these tragedies???? Several things can REDUCE THEM!!

    1) parents or responsible care givers do a better job
    2) pools-have walking lifeguards as well as tower guards- walkers can see more of the bottom
    3) everybody-be aware of what is going on around you
    4) everybody get trained in CPR-cheap insurance- help when needed
    5) watch-watch-watch-

    God bless this poor family!! God bless the guards-as they feel aweful as well.

    PS-I am a former lifeguard at this club and now, parent of 2.

  • NC Reader Jun 12, 2009

    Once I saw a lifeguard jump in after a child (maybe 3 or 4 years old) in the shallow end -- before anyone noticed the child was in distress. The child's father was within four or five feet but had his back turned. All of a sudden, this young, very small lifeguard shot into the pool and grabbed the boy. I was shocked at the suddenness of it, impressed by the guard's observation and response, and humbled by the thought that as parents we have such a tremendous responsibility with our children's lives.

    I buy bright red or orange swimsuits for my children. That makes them much easier to spot, especially when they are swimming under water.

  • ljeffers19 Jun 12, 2009

    RaleighGirl1 - Thanks for the information and the sensible comments. Some people are so quick to judge even when they don't know the facts. It's very sad what happened and I'm sure the parents are devastated by this since the child wasn't in their care at the time. My parents let relatives take my siblings and me to the pool who were much less competent at watching us than my parents expected. Had something happened, they would have been torn up, but ultimately it wouldn't have been their fault (though I'm sure they would've blamed themselves endlessly). Accidents happen and blame is not useful when they do. Let the family grieve without strangers passing judgment.

    Nicklebon - will you PLEASE learn what quotation marks are? They were invented for a reason.

  • wcumedic24 Jun 12, 2009

    The phrase, "4 lifeguards were on duty is in the last sentence of second paragraph.

  • Buddy1 Jun 12, 2009

    4 Lifeguards and 3 Pools. You do the math.

  • wcumedic24 Jun 12, 2009

    The parents/guardians/relatives that brought child to pool are the first line of defense to watch their OWN children. They did not and look what happened.
    Now, 4 lifeguards on Duty, there is NO excuse for a child to drown if they are scanning the pool properly. I have been a Lifeguard for 14 years now and speak from experience. The ratio for Guards to patrons is 1 guard per 25 patrons. They were well inside the ratio. The guards did not do their jobs and now they must suffer the consequences. Sad but this is the truth

  • SweetB Jun 12, 2009

    4 "LIFEGUARDS"????????!!!!!!!

  • Garnerwolf1 Jun 12, 2009

    Small children don't usually "flounder". They fall in, go under, that's it. Doesn't dismiss the responsibility of the lifeguards, relatives, or every other adult there, but there's usually no thrashing around, screaming for help, as on TV.
    My condolences to the family. All involved will have to live with this the rest of their lives.