Local News

Expert: Breached bonding wire could have led to teen's electrocution

Posted September 6, 2016 3:06 p.m. EDT

— Investigators were back at a community pool in Raleigh's Heritage Point neighborhood on Tuesday, three days after a 17-year-old lifeguard was electrocuted and found unresponsive in the water.

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

Scott Hoffman, owner of Aqua Havens Pools in Raleigh, says a bonding wire is installed around a pool when it is built, to prevent ladders and handrails from becoming electrical conductors. If this wire is breached in any way, everyone who enters the pool is at risk.

"Somebody added a piece of equipment, maybe cut a bonding wire, not on purpose," he said.

According to Wake County inspection records, the pool's electrical systems were inspected when it was built in 1979. Three complaints unrelated to electrical issues were inspected in 2008, 2009, and 2011.

Routine safety and health inspections of the pool were done most recently in April, June and July of this year, but those do not include electrical inspections.

"We hear stories about this periodically, about electrocution," Hoffman said. "You would hope that everyone in this industry would realize that when we're doing specific things, redoing, adding equipment that everything needs to be executed appropriately when that's done."

Rosoff was remembered at school Tuesday as students left flowers and cards in her parking spot. they also held a silent vigil.

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."