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Pool Swimming Safety

By: Jillian Risberg Email
By: Jillian Risberg Email

UPDATE: 8/2/2013, 6 PM

Major Brian Schuck with the Washington County Sheriff's office confirms McCafferty died Thursday morning, August 1, from his injuries, and the investigation remains open.
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Two friends horsing around in a home pool on Gilman Avenue in Marietta on a summer weekend ended with a frantic call to 911.

Scott Beaver of Whipple and Paul McCafferty of Marietta were just trying to splash McCafferty's wife Carol but the pool was only four feet deep.

"They collided somehow and one of them went to the bottom of the pool and hit his head,” says Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks.

These types of accidents aren't all that common but still can be deadly.

"They can be rare at supervised pools, but when you're dealing with outdoor pools, overcrowded pools, these incidents can happen,” says Ryan Caskey, head lifeguard at the Parkersburg YMCA.

When deputies responded they found McCafferty, 66, struggling to survive.

"He became unconscious, was unresponsive, not breathing,” Mincks says. “They pulled him out, did CPR and got him to breathe again."

McCafferty was taken to Marietta Memorial Hospital with a broken neck.

Be aware of your surroundings when it comes to water.

"The best way to monitor these and make sure these injuries don’t happen is to make sure anytime you're diving, jumping in the water it's always best to keep it five feet and above,” Caskey says.

When you think about water safety, it's usually drownings. But we need to be aware of head, neck and spinal injuries too.

"From the chest down he was having trouble feeling,” Mincks says. “I think later on he did start to feel some tingling in his toes and his exact medical condition right now I'm not sure of."

Enjoy your swim and prevent a potential tragedy.

"I would definitely advise not to jump into any body of water that you cannot see the bottom of or at least you know has a proper depth,” Caskey says.


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