Monday, June 29, 2009

Drowning prompts lifeguard concerns at Percy Priest

WKRN Channel 2 News NASHVILLE, Tenn. - While there is a sign clearly posted that says, "No lifeguard, Swim at your own risk", some parents say Saturday's drowning only highlights the need for lifeguards on Percy Priest Lake. A 15-year-old boy drowned at the Anderson Road Recreation Area while swimming with friends. Jack Cipriano has two young children and said he'd like to see lifeguards at the beach. "I think it would definitely be beneficial to the families to have them out here," he told News 2. "It's always more comforting to know that if something does happen like unfortunately happened [Saturday], that there are trained professionals that are there to assist and do their jobs." Scott Sherry and his wife were on the beach Saturday when the teenager went under. "One kid was yelling, ‘Get a lifeguard, get a lifeguard, my friend's under water and hasn't come back up for awhile.'" He told News 2 at first, he thought the kids were joking but quickly realized they weren't. "Then it was frightening because we knew something had gone wrong and we needed to get help," he said. Help, however, was 15 minutes away. Sherry said if a lifeguard had been on duty, the drowning could have been prevented. "It would be nice to have somebody that had rescue swimmer training or some kind of lifeguard training that was in the area, if not posted full time, at least close by," he said. Cipriano agrees, "That might've been preventable had there been lifeguards here. It's a no lose situation, for sure." Divers recovered the body of the 15-year-old, Erik Ekwagha, hours after he went under.

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