Girl pulled from Great Wolf Lodge pool dies

A 4-year-old Wakefield girl who was pulled lifeless from a pool at the Williamsburg-area Great Wolf Lodge on Father's Day and later revived at a local hospital has died. Full Story
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Darlene Clavin

Harrisonburg, VA

#1 Jun 22, 2007
I'm very sadden by this tradgy. My heart goes out to the family. I recently visited GWL and informed them of the poor quality of their lifeguards because 3 children in 1 day almost drowned. I filled out a lenghty questionaire to GWL informing them of the dangers and the unawareness of the life guards. I feel very sick that they did not heel my warnings.
Linda Medlin

AOL

#2 Jun 25, 2007
When people are there at the Great WL and fill out forms of their concerns it seems as though you didn't read them or just don't care. They would have taken a closer look and put the lifeguards on more ALERTS if they had read the form. So sorry for the family. I will never visit again.
SB Mechanicsville

Richmond, VA

#3 Jun 25, 2007
I just heard about this incident today. It is so scary to have children around water. Something can happen in an instant. I can't imagine what these parents are feeling right now. Only God can give them strength to get through this. We will lift them up in prayer.
Sarah

Lynchburg, VA

#4 Jun 26, 2007
As a recent guest at the Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, I took advantage of the fun to be had in the water park, and had a safe, enjoyable time. As is to be expected, many of the park's occupants were children. I noticed that many parents were preoccupied with reading materials and conversation among other things. Those parents and guardians having young children in any aqueous environment should be concerned first and foremost with the safety of their child(ren). It is not the sole responsibility of lifeguards on duty to watch over young children. Despite having taken several seasons of swimming lessons, my six year old is never out of my sight in the presence of water. How very unfortunate the event was for this family, but sadly it likely could have been prevented. People must take responsibility for their actions (or lack thereof).
Lynn Mayfield Maryland

Washington, DC

#5 Jun 27, 2007
I have visited the GWL in Williamsburg 3 times in the past year. My family had wonderful times there. I did notice that many, many of the parents sit on the side, drink and talk, not paying the slightest bit of attention to their children. I don't blame the lifeguards on duty. It is the parent's responsibility to watch their children, especially that young. I would advise the GWL not to serve any alcohol and not permit it in the waterpark area or hotel.
Necobia jackson

Gloucester, VA

#6 Jun 28, 2007
WHERE WERE THE PARENTS!!!!!!!!!!
would you really allow your FOUR year old out of your sight for a second in a WATER PARK!!!!!!!!! really people!
amy

Virginia Beach, VA

#7 Jun 29, 2007
Necobia jackson wrote:
WHERE WERE THE PARENTS!!!!!!!!!!
would you really allow your FOUR year old out of your sight for a second in a WATER PARK!!!!!!!!! really people!
I totally have to agree with Necobia-I never allow my kids out of my sight at a water park. We have been to GWL a dozen times and agree the lifeguards maybe miss things but we as parents have to take responsibility! My heard goes out to the family and I will say a prayer as I can't imagine losing a child, but honestly feel this could have been avoided!
Jarod

Milwaukee, WI

#8 Jun 29, 2007
I cannot imagine the pain this family is going through right now, my thoughts and prayers are with them. But as everyone else says, where are the parents?! and I agree, Lifeguards are there yes but they're not babysitters. If your going on a family vacation to one of these family resorts, treat it like a 'family vacation' and spend all the time you can with your family! Stay with your kids!! This tragedy could have prevented, in the same turn the lifeguard could have been more proactive in his/her scanning technique. Not putting blame solely on the lifeguard because the family did loose their child (as stated in articles). These places are big! WATCH YOUR CHILDREN!
ruth stewart

Virginia Beach, VA

#9 Jun 29, 2007
very very sad, but parents should be with their children at all times. Parents should be even more vigilant at a location full of strangers, not just drownings could occur but kidnappings ect. A drowning could happen at any waterpark, pool, amusment park. GWL does not deserve the blame of parents that were not attending to their own child. I have been there twice with my 10 year old and was with her every minute. If she had run into a problem in the water, I was right there by her side and would have been able to signal a lifeguard for help. The # of people allowed at GWL can not be watched by a lifeguards there individually! We commented when leaning that we were impressed by all of the lifeguards!!
Leslie

Ashburn, VA

#10 Jun 30, 2007
I agree. My kids are both competitive swimmers, and my 9 year old got knocked around in that wave pool. I kept him close to me and watched to make sure he came up every time the waves knocked him down. I would not have put a 4 year old in that pool. The waves are just too strong. I feel for this family, of course, we cannot know the horror they must feel now... and maybe they took the precautions they felt appropriate. In the end, accidents can happen to the most vigilant of us, but I'm always extra careful around water.
Sarah wrote:
As a recent guest at the Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, I took advantage of the fun to be had in the water park, and had a safe, enjoyable time. As is to be expected, many of the park's occupants were children. I noticed that many parents were preoccupied with reading materials and conversation among other things. Those parents and guardians having young children in any aqueous environment should be concerned first and foremost with the safety of their child(ren). It is not the sole responsibility of lifeguards on duty to watch over young children. Despite having taken several seasons of swimming lessons, my six year old is never out of my sight in the presence of water. How very unfortunate the event was for this family, but sadly it likely could have been prevented. People must take responsibility for their actions (or lack thereof).
Andrea

United States

#11 Jun 30, 2007
The Great Wolf Lodge trains its Lifeguards through the Ellis company...look it up...they are the best! All the Golden Guards on earth cannot keep an unsupervised child safe 100% of the time. Sometimes kids die right with their parents in attendance. Tragic, yes, negligent by the hotel? NO. And I think it's libelous for people to say so.

“"Dovie'andi se tovya sagain" ”

Since: Jul 07

MN -now- Hampton Roads

#12 Jul 1, 2007
Don't know about the life gaurds but it would take a lot more of them to keep everyone safe if the parents did nothing. I see parents in stores all the time ignoring what thier kids are doing or where they are...when I stop the kids from destroying stuff or tell the parents about it they look at me like 'what they sam hill are you talking about?''leave me and my kid alone (whereever he/she is)' I would expect that parents taking kids to a place like this would watch closer than they do in stores. Unfortunatly - it only takes a moment of looking at something else for tragedy to stike - kids are capable of moving faster than you think and will do what you don't expect just when you look away. Need to be extra aware and I agree with the no alcohol bit too, one or two (or more) drinks and some sun will really reduce a parents vigilance.

Since: Jun 07

Newport News

#13 Jul 1, 2007
I have taken my kids there three times over the past three years. The first time, they were 3 and 6 years old. The most recent time, they were 5 and 8. I can tell you, it was exhausting watching the two of them all three times, but worth it to see them have fun. when I needed a break, I removed them from the water and took a break. At no time were they in the wave pool without my undivided attention. The first two times, both wore the flotation devices provided at the park.
amy in lynchburg va

Madison Heights, VA

#14 Jul 3, 2007
[I agree with you. We left GWL the day before this accident occured. We have 3 children, and never took our eyes off them. Many other parents we noticed would be drinking at the bar and not paying attention to their own children. During our week stay we noticed one man ignore his daughter on several occasions while he was drinking and socializing, his daughter was lost at one point and the lifeguards helped to find her father. I think the GWL is a great place for children, but they need to have responsible parents with them, not ONLY the lifegaurds. We will be visiting many more times in the future.
Nilsa

United States

#15 Jul 5, 2007
My daughter is a lifeguard at a theme Park Hotel and the majority of the time that kids that almost drown is lack of parental supervision. Lifeguards are not babysitters. Majority of the time parents are no where to be found. Ellis is the company that certifies lifeguards and they have a very good record this has been the first drowning in over five years.
Just Me

Virginia Beach, VA

#16 Jul 6, 2007
This is exactly what I would say. The life guards have MANY people to look out for but they are not babysitters. People need to take responsibility of their own children and keep them safe.
Sarah wrote:
As a recent guest at the Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, I took advantage of the fun to be had in the water park, and had a safe, enjoyable time. As is to be expected, many of the park's occupants were children. I noticed that many parents were preoccupied with reading materials and conversation among other things. Those parents and guardians having young children in any aqueous environment should be concerned first and foremost with the safety of their child(ren). It is not the sole responsibility of lifeguards on duty to watch over young children. Despite having taken several seasons of swimming lessons, my six year old is never out of my sight in the presence of water. How very unfortunate the event was for this family, but sadly it likely could have been prevented. People must take responsibility for their actions (or lack thereof).
Saddend Mom

Stratford, CT

#17 Jul 7, 2007
How horrible to have to lose your child at such a young age. It just goes to show you how quickly life can change. Hold each moment dear to your heart. Keep your children close. God bless the family and my prayers go out to them during this terrible time.
Saddend Mom

Stratford, CT

#18 Jul 7, 2007
Darlene Clavin wrote:
I'm very sadden by this tradgy. My heart goes out to the family. I recently visited GWL and informed them of the poor quality of their lifeguards because 3 children in 1 day almost drowned. I filled out a lenghty questionaire to GWL informing them of the dangers and the unawareness of the life guards. I feel very sick that they did not heel my warnings.
I was a lifeguard and swim instructor for 19 years. This does not sound like it was their fault. Lifeguards are not babysitters. In a wave pool no child should be out of the parents reach. Especially a four year old.

Since: Jun 07

Newport News

#19 Jul 7, 2007
Saddend Mom wrote:
<quoted text> I was a lifeguard and swim instructor for 19 years. This does not sound like it was their fault. Lifeguards are not babysitters. In a wave pool no child should be out of the parents reach. Especially a four year old.
EXACTLY 100% correct. That, and stick one of the Flotation vests on them for good measure so you have something to grab onto.
Frank

Norfolk, VA

#20 Jul 7, 2007
We always put the bame on some one or some thing else insteade of taking the responsibilty ourselves. I feel very sadaned over the loss of such a yound person and feel very sad for the parents but I do not put the blame on the establishment it is not a baby setting service. I agree with Nacobia that the parents should never have allowed a four year old into the water alone out of their sight.

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