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Teen lifeguard electrocuted in Labor Day weekend accident

Posted September 5

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— The preliminary autopsy for a Raleigh teen found unresponsive in a community pool in Raleigh's Heritage Point neighborhood on Saturday afternoon confirmed her family's theory that she was electrocuted.

Rachel Rosoff, 17, was found in the pool on Valley Forge Road and pulled from the water at about 2:30 p.m., according to authorities.

Rosoff was a student at Enloe High School, and she worked as a lifeguard at the community pool through the Aquatic Management Group.

A relative told WRAL News that Rosoff was alone at the pool at the time of her death. They believe she was holding a metal bar for support when she reached into the water to check the chemicals.

In a call to 911, another pool worker described finding Rosoff facedown in the water and feeling a shock in trying to pull her from the water.

"‚ÄčI can't get in to get her in the pool. The water seems to be electrified in some sense," the caller said. "I tried to jump in to touch her and as soon as I touched it, I felt a shock run through me."

A preliminary autopsy report released Monday afternoon found "results ... consistent with the decedent entering the pool that had an electrical charge that may have rendered the decedent unconscious apparently leading to drowning."

"We are shaken by the loss of such a vibrant young life. Our deepest sympathy is extended to the family in this time of unfathomable grief. We are cooperating with investigators in every way possible and are hopeful that the investigation may provide an explanation for this tragedy," a spokesperson for Aquatic Management Group said in a statement.

Rosoff was also remembered by a food pantry where she volunteered. In a Facebook post, the Food Ark called her "the epitome of passion and energy with direction."

6 Comments

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  • Charles Edwards Sep 6, 10:41 a.m.
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    This story indicates a twofold problem: 1) The light was leaking and 2) A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter either wasn't installed or not working properly. An operating GFCI would have shut off power. GFCIs are typically found wherever water is possibly present - kitchens, batchrooms, outdoor receptacles, etc. Should be installed on pool lights, too. US Consumer Product Safety Commission has a bulletin (#5039) about this very issue.

  • Tron Carter Sep 6, 8:57 a.m.
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    View quoted thread


    I was shocked once before when reaching my hand into a pool to grab a float. I fortunately wasn't holding anything like a metal pole for a net or skimmer otherwise I imagine it might have been much worse. Come to find out, the wiring to the lights in the water were bad and were giving out an electrical charge into the water. RIP to this young lady.

  • Jim Williams Sep 5, 10:08 p.m.
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    Prayers to Rachel and her family.

  • Marie Brandsdorfer Sep 5, 7:32 p.m.
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    My heart felt prayers for her family!
    Praying for you all!

  • Larry Fellers Sep 5, 7:13 p.m.
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    So sad, how did she get electrocuted? Was the pole plugged in somehow?

  • Kenneth Jones Sep 5, 6:35 p.m.
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    What a shame such a young girl has to lose her life in the manner which it apparently happened. Thoughts and prayers to the family and friends. I do wish the media would stop posting personal information on everyone.