A 6-year-old boy flown to Savannah on Saturday after a water park mishap is in stable condition, Statesboro-Bulloch Parks and Recreation Director Mike Rollins said Monday.
Statesboro police responded around 3 p.m. Saturday to Splash in the ’Boro "in reference to a 6-year-old male that had possibly drowned," Statesboro Public Safety Director Wendell Turner said.
"Upon arrival, Statesboro officers observed multiple people actively performing CPR on the juvenile," including water-park manager Steve Brown, lifeguards, off-duty medical personnel, and Bulloch County EMS first-responder Brent Conner, Turner said.
EMTs took the boy to East Georgia Regional Medical Center, but he was then flown to Children’s Hospital at Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah to receive further treatment.
Rollins said about 30 lifeguards and other water-park safety officials were on hand Saturday, when about 1,900 people were in the park.
Rollins said he did not know whether the child could swim. He was at the park with a relative, he said.
It isn’t a rare occurrence for people to encounter problems in the water, although several safety measures are in place, he said.
On any given Saturday during water-park season, "it’s not uncommon to pull two or three people to safety who couldn’t swim," Rollins said.
Splash in the ’Boro rules are posted, and one rule is that anyone younger than 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
Kashaska Morris, who was at the park when the accident occurred, said she noticed a lifeguard admonishing several children to stay out of certain areas unless they wore life jackets or could swim.
"We heard the whistle blow" when a lifeguard alerted others that the boy was underwater, she said. "He was floating on his stomach" when lifeguards pulled him from the water, unresponsive, she said. "I never saw anything like that in my life."
While it is unclear whether the boy could swim, Rollins said it is important that people using the water park know how to swim or are supervised by adults.
"Lifeguards are there to enforce rules and handle emergency situations, not supervise children," he said. "We meet the highest of safety standards and try to provide as safe an environment as we can."
Reports did not identify the victim, as he is a juvenile. His guardian is from Hinesville, reports stated.