Multiple sources have reported that a 5-year-old boy nearly drowned in the McCarren Park Pool this past Sunday.
At around 7 p.m., a Good Samaritan named Anthony Torres noticed a lifeless child in the water and immediately sprung into action.
“I screamed ‘Help!’ and then I submerged myself into the water to pick him up. He was face down in the water, in like a fetal position,” Torres told CBS2. Having previously worked as a lifeguard himself, Torres got the child out of the water before the lifeguards started performing CPR. After they successfully revived him, the child was then rushed to Woodhull Hospital. He is expected to recover.
Torres reported that he felt frustrated by the lifeguards’ initial inaction, a sentiment shared by other pool-goers.
“The lifeguards were still up in the chairs, like, they didn’t even bother to get down,” Maria Lozano also told CBS2, “It was scary. I was with my kids here. Everyone was just worried and concerned because the child wasn’t breathing. He was unconscious. The CPR wasn’t working. It was scary, everyone was screaming.”
“[The lifeguards] weren’t doing anything for a while. There was arguing about what to do… and the guy that carried the kid and a lot of people were yelling about what to do, another local told New York Post.
On Twitter, council member Lincoln Restler called for the NYC Parks Department to investigate the incident and “review McCarren staffing.”
With a heat advisory in place, many locals flocked to city pools this past weekend to beat the heat. Greenpointers previously reported that a nationwide lifeguard shortage prompted the cancellation of several swim programs this summer.