I-Team: Health district remains quiet on Cowabunga near-drowning

LAS VEGAS - With record temperatures and school being out for summer, many children are headed to local pools.

But questions remain surrounding the safety of one southern Nevada water park. There have been two near-drownings in two years at Cowabunga Bay.

A spokeswoman for the Southern Nevada Health District which oversees the water park denied the I-Team's requests for an interview.

On Sunday, an 8-year-old boy was pulled from the wave pool and left clinging to life at the hospital. 

As the I-Team has reported in the past, the near-drowning of 6-year-old Leland Gardner in 2015 also occurred in the wave pool. Gardner was left with severe brain damage.

Only three life guards were on duty at the wave pool, at that time. Initially the state requirement for Cowabunga Bay was 17, but the health district made a variance - or exception - for the water park dropping that number to a requirement of seven lifeguards at the wave pool claiming it was following new guidelines issued by the CDC.

According to the health district, there were eight lifeguards at Cowabunga Bay during the near-drowning Sunday.

The I-Team attended the monthly meeting held by the health district Thursday morning. Although the meeting is public, a large portion was held in closed session.

When the I-team requested an interview with the director or any other supervisor about pool safety, a spokeswoman denied the request.

In the meantime, the Cowabunga Bay wave pool is back open.

The I-Team has done several stories on issues at the health district including that the director's main residence is not in Las Vegas, but in San Francisco. That issue was not addressed at Thursday's meeting.


 


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