SUN VALLEY BEACH DROWNING: Sun Valley Beach drowning

Full story: Chicago Tribune

Cobb County police are investigating the death of a 16-year-old who drowned during a class outing at a water park in Powder Springs.
Comments
21 - 40 of 143 Comments Last updated Jun 21, 2013
anonymus

Fayetteville, GA

#21 Jun 30, 2008
Donniegrl wrote:
Does anyone have info about a 5 yr old girl who drown there about 25 yr
s ago???
I know the family of the little girl who drowned there 25 yrs ago. She was there wih her mom.She had a twin sister there also.
bulldawgs

Dallas, GA

#22 Jul 1, 2008
Yes, Donniegirl there was a drowning nearly 25 years ago. Last name was Sibley. I know her twin. I don't know exactly what happened that day though.
redneck

Newnan, GA

#23 Jul 4, 2008
sunvalley beach was one of my favorite places to go,however wathing how they have no concern for safety,I would never let my family go there. A little boy almost drowned beside me. I notified the owner about a civilian saving the little boy. She showed no concern or remorse. The lady then kicked the man out of the park for letting the owner know the lifeguards werent doing there job. I think she only cares about money and not her guest.
man saved boy

Newnan, GA

#24 Jul 4, 2008
On july 4 2008 I was at sunvalley beach.A little boy almost drowned beside me. I grabed the little boy and pulled him to safety. A couple of minutes later the OWNER came by.I informed her of the situation,she then said she was not woried about the little boy,but wanted me to remove my daughters swim floaties in the deep end. She then walked off not even talking to the life gaurd. In my opinion she does not show concern for guests safety,but only cares about money. In the same day a man almost drowned as well,a 100 pound lifegaurd girl tried to save him. They both almost drowned.Luckily they both made it,but it was obvious she had no business trying to save anyone,she was a teenage girl probally about 15.
man saved boy

Newnan, GA

#25 Jul 4, 2008
To the parents of the boy who drowned. I have first hand seen the neglect and pure out not caring of the Sun Valley Beach owner. Before I went to Sun Valley today,I probally would have tried to talk you out of sueing them,but after what I heard personally out of Sun Valley owner I hope you take her for everything.She only care about money and not if her guest make it through the day at her park.I would love to go tell the judge what I know.If you would like another person in court leave a call back number or a way to get in touch with you.
cynical

United States

#26 Jul 7, 2008
sounds like " redneck" and " man saves boy" are the same person to me.
man saved kid

Newnan, GA

#27 Jul 9, 2008
On july 4 2008 at Sunvalley Beach,I saved a little boy.I then seen the owner come by and told her about it,because while I was saving the little boy the lifegaurd was talking to another lifegaurd about which one was going to talk to a girl standing near by. The OWNERS comments were that her lifegaurds were working hard and she didnt care if I saved a little boy or not,she was worried about my 4 year old having floaties on in the deep end.She showed no concern about the life I just saved.In my opinion not one of her little kid lifegaruds could not save a 80 pound kid. I say this because they are all 100 pound kids themselves.She probally only pays them minimum wage to look at girls all day.
Bell

Stone Mountain, GA

#28 Jul 16, 2008
Record Straighter wrote:
Sun Valley Beach is not a pool it is a spring that was developed into a man made lake. It has some pool like qualities such as a marcited sides and partial bottom. It still has a sandy bottom. The spring still provides water as well as an on-site well and water from the county. Because of these and other factors such as bather load and chemical reaction with containments (body oils,skin,lotions) the water will probaly never be as clear as your local Swimming pool.
The young man who drowned , while unfortunate also shares some of the blame. Questions you and his family should ask; How well could he swim? Was he swimming with a "buddy"? Did he allow himself to overestimate his ability and place himself in danger?
A small number of accidential drowning do not struggle at the surface of the water. They just slip under with no sign of distress. There were 100 other people besides the Lifeguards...why didn't any of them see this unfortunate yong man go under? Because there was nothing out of the ordinary to see.
Now place yourself in the shoes of the lifeguards who pulled him out...
the above comment left for the sad story of the sad death of the young man at sunvalley beach is extreamly heart less. how could you say that it is partly the boys fault on this site, what if his parents saw this or a friend or family member. this story is extremly sad and frustrating. i have been to sunvalley beach many times in the past and it is true that their are alot of people are swimming but when someone goes down and does not come back up someone has to notice but like you said hundreds of people and yet no one saw this young man. maybe he was not swimming with a friend or a great swimmer but it is no ones place to say that a youmg man died, a family lost thier son. and i hope that he is with GOd today. and my regards go out to the family. your in my prayers.i am so sorry for your loss
Lori Gordy

Austell, GA

#29 Jul 19, 2008
I am responding to Redneck and Man Saves Boy......I too was there at Sunvalley Beach on July 4th and the person making this posting is not telling the story as it actually happened. To begin with this man did not save a little boy. This man had his daughter in the 8 to 12 foot water with arm floaties on. Arm floaties are strictly prohibited in the deep end of the pool. The owner of Sunvalley Beach asked the man to take his daughter out of the deep end as the arm floats are not premitted in that section of the pool. Most children in arm floats are begining or non-swimmers. This man became irate and told the owner that he would testify against her and he would see her in court. He was furious because she told him he could comply or leave the park. We have been season pass holders at Sunvalley Beach for years, I swam there as a teenager. I never fear for the safety of my 3 young boys, however I watch them! Utlimately I am responsible for my children, not the life guards, and certainly not the owners of SunValley Beach! Rather than get angry with the owner over being asked to take a nonswimmer out of the deep end instead he should be grateful that the owner was concerned for his own child's safety as this man certainly was not!
Piglet

Norcross, GA

#30 Aug 4, 2008
Her name was Carmen Sibley..twin sister of Carla Sibley...daughter of Gary and Beth Sibley.
Yankee-n-D-Ville

United States

#31 Aug 10, 2008
A little boy was pulled out this afternoon. He was life flighted out. The child did not look in good shape. I pray he survives and pray for his family. As a parent it is your responsibility to watch your child. I am a member of Sun Valley beach and go there often. I do not rely on the life guards to watch my son. They do a good job, but in the end I AM RESPONSIBLE for my son.
Michael

Dallas, GA

#32 Aug 10, 2008
vick wrote:
i was there too, i was swimming til 7:40 i knew that would happen bcuz the life guards were busy chatting amongst themselves
Vick, You have to be crazy to blame the lifeguards. There is much more to the story. God bless the family of the boy, Sun Valley beach owners and staff and all the bloggers talking about this not knowing the facts.
SAS

Jefferson, GA

#33 Aug 10, 2008
vick wrote:
i was there too, i was swimming til 7:40 i knew that would happen bcuz the life guards were busy chatting amongst themselves
OMG! How could you know? If you are so psychic and knew it was going to happen, then why didn't you say something?
SAS

Jefferson, GA

#34 Aug 10, 2008
Michael wrote:
<quoted text>
Vick, You have to be crazy to blame the lifeguards. There is much more to the story. God bless the family of the boy, Sun Valley beach owners and staff and all the bloggers talking about this not knowing the facts.
AMEN! THESE LIFEGUARDS ARE CONSTANTLY ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THIS AND RESPOND TO EVERYTHING THEY EVEN SUSPECT MAY BECOME AN INCIDENT, BUT THE PARENTS OF A 5 YEAR OLD SHOULD KNOW WHERE THERE CHILD IS AT ALL TIMES!
SAS

Jefferson, GA

#35 Aug 10, 2008
media sucks wrote:
AMEN!, Record Straighter
Lifeguards are not babysitters and cannot possibly watch every soul every second. Some of the responsibility of a minor under 18 should fall on the parent. I agree with the buddy system and the sand on the bottom makes it difficult to see under water. It is meant to represent a "lakelike" appearance and would be impossible to see someone who may have jumped in and never came up. Imagine being a lifeguard and watching every persons every move in the water. Parents are ultimately responsible for their children, so whoever thinks it's all the lifeguards fault and not being able to see to the bottom is not being realistic. What about people going to the lake and no lifeguard being there. I bet they watch their kids a little closer there and don't leave it completely up to the lifeguards, so WFE!
SAS

Jefferson, GA

#36 Aug 10, 2008
SAS wrote:
<quoted text>
Lifeguards are not babysitters and cannot possibly watch every soul every second. Some of the responsibility of a minor under 18 should fall on the parent. I agree with the buddy system and the sand on the bottom makes it difficult to see under water. It is meant to represent a "lakelike" appearance and would be impossible to see someone who may have jumped in and never came up. Imagine being a lifeguard and watching every persons every move in the water. Parents are ultimately responsible for their children, so whoever thinks it's all the lifeguards fault and not being able to see to the bottom is not being realistic. What about people going to the lake and no lifeguard being there. I bet they watch their kids a little closer there and don't leave it completely up to the lifeguards, so WFE!
This was in response to the May 30 posting by Record Straighter.
SAS

Jefferson, GA

#37 Aug 10, 2008
concerned wrote:
they need to watch their employees hey gossip and play to much. THey fire to much crooks
That must have been what you did in english class!
SAS

Jefferson, GA

#38 Aug 10, 2008
Julie Mc wrote:
I go there several times a week with my 6 yr old. He is never out of my sight because I alone am responsible for him. From my understanding the young man had just finished swim lessons. He had NO business in 12 feet of water! The family had not seen him for almost 90 minutes before they notified someone. They should be charged with neglect. Every single day I watch the lifeguards make save after save and I'm amazed that the children get saved from drowning and just walk away...no parents around to see if they're ok, no thank you...nothing. I know the owners....they are devastated by this as are the lifeguards. The have a Red Cross official that does continuing education with them every week...I could go on and on but the fact is this: the family needs to do some real soul-searching and realize THEY let their son down...
AMEN! You are so right! I've had a pass there every year for 30 years and have seen the response team at work. They respond if they even "think" there is a problem and as that person is responding, another lifeguard is RUNNING LIKE CRAZY to cover that chair while the other lifeguard is assisting the person in distress. People need to be responsible for their children and keep their eyes on them the entire time they are there and not leave it to the soul responsibility of the lifeguards trying to keep an eye on 100's of people and there to rescue someone in distress, but the bottom line is people should always have a buddy or their parent watching to voice it if they see something happening. I can't believe that out of all the people there, no one saw anything, but yet the lifeguards are being blamed and there is such thing is parent negligence.
August 10th drowning

Springfield, IL

#39 Aug 10, 2008
Today I was there when a patron pulled a 5 year old out of the water at Sun Valley. I was 20 feet away, when I heard "Somebody help, he's drowning" the patron was frantic. He was holding the little boy in his hands, screaming for help. The life guard in the chair did not move. Another lifeguard on the side did not go out to assist the patron. When the lifeguard saw them lay the little boy on the ground, a male lifeguard began shouting "someone call 911". A friend that was with me dialed 911. A relative was standing on the side, he fell to the ground. We hollered we need water, the lifeguard did not have any. I have witnessed the disdain outright neglect today. As I drove out of the park, I asked at the door/gate going out, "Can you plz. give me the address?" A lady gave me the address, then asked me "why do you want to know?"

As we left we were interviewed by the media. It will be on TV tonight. I am truly amazed at what a Sun Valley employee told me. 1. The lifeguards are to stay in their chairs, no matter what.(so if your kid was drowning, isn't the lifeguard suppose to save them?) 2. He also said that the lifeguard is suppose to blow a whistle and sound a horn. NEITHER was done today.

Today I also witnessed a boy who appeared to be 3 years old, attempting to go off the blue slide (the biggest one, with a 4 foot drop at the bottom). We repeatedly called the lifeguard, she finally turned around, I screamed "look,(pointing) that little boy is trying to go off that big slide", the lifeguard looked at me looked up towards the little boy and said nothing. I finally went up there and told the little boy not to go down there. He went down and stopped ~ 3 feet and started crying. A lady grabbed the little boy and took him down.

Yes, I feel what you are going to say, but until the staff has better control over the "Beach" it needs to shut down.

1. None of the lifeguards had cell phones to call 911.
2. There is no callbox.
3. There is no hook to pull in a drowning victim.
4. The lifeguards are NOT properly trained in what to do, it was evident today.
5. The pool is not properly marked for the deep water.
6. There is no way to stop the current from pulling a child into the deep end, in an instant!
7. There should be a break when ALL kids are made to leave the pool! They would have had a chance to see him on the bottom.
8. There should be a lifeguard posted at the top of the slides (where the yellow, red and blue big waterslides are) to prevent children from going down.
9. Little kids are taught when they go to 6 Flags that you must be this tall to go down this ride. When coming down the blue slide the drop at the bottom is 4 feet! There is no indication that the water is that deep.
10. If the owner did not have a study done asince the last drowning in May 2008, then she is liable.

My extended sympathy to the family that lost a loved one today.
August 10th drowning

Springfield, IL

#40 Aug 10, 2008
PS. According to the earlier posts, I believe that the lady that gave me the address today, but would not give me the owners name -- Was the owner!

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