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Near drowning creates controversy in Bangor

By Jamie Stover, Reporter, JStover@wfmz.com
Published On: Jun 25 2014 09:04:59 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 26 2014 01:34:19 PM CDT

There are conflicting reports surrounding a dramatic rescue at a Northampton County public pool.

BANGOR, Pa. -

There are conflicting reports surrounding a dramatic rescue at a public pool in Northampton County on Tuesday.

Bangor officials claim lifeguards saved a young girl who nearly drowned at Memorial Park Pool, but some witnesses said that wasn't the case.

Jordyn Lesher, 10, said she was under the water in the pool when she saw another little girl at the bottom of the pool.

"I saw her just at the bottom of the pool, lying there, like not moving, so I started swimming toward her," Lesher said.

Lesher said when she came up for air, she saw a woman jump in toward the child.

"I saw the adult like scream and jump in, and I knew she was after her," Lesher said.

Amanda Boyd, also at the pool, said she recalled seeing two women jump into action to rescue the child.

"A little kid had seen her in the water, told his mom, and she went in and pulled her out, and another woman, who was a nurse, jumped in and grabbed her and started performing CPR," Boyd said.

But Cathy Allen, president of the Bangor Borough Council, said lifeguards recovered the child from the pool.

"The lifeguards took her out. The visitors did help with CPR and reviving the girl," Allen said.

Another witness, Brian Krenicky, also said the lifeguards helped save the girl's life. He told 69 News the guards pulled the girl from the pool with the help of a nurse. Krenicky also said that the lifeguards performed CPR with the nurse's help and were able to get the girl breathing again.

But Lesher told 69 News that lifeguards were nowhere to be found.

"They weren't on their stands. I have no idea where they were. I couldn't see them," Lesher said.

"They were changing posts, so that's why they weren't in their chairs," Allen said.

Krenicky claimed the lifeguards were in chairs, and said he was even talking to one of them when the situation unfolded.

Some parents said they were disappointed by the response of those on duty.

"If you're a lifeguard, it's your duty to notice something like that first, not for another mother to go in there and pull out a child that was already drowning and under the water for five minutes," Boyd said.

"They are not paying attention. They're not watching the kids. There's no watching going on," said Jacqui Cooper, a witness and a parent.

Allen defended the lifeguards and their response.

"They did their job to their abilities, and everything is fine. We do have a good outcome to this. We thank God for that," Allen said.

Lesher said she is still scared and does not want to return to the pool.

"I don't want to go back to that pool ever. The lifeguards weren't doing their job. I don't want to see that happen again," Lesher said.

Allen said the lifeguards fulfilled their job duties, and it does not appear anyone will be let go.

The incident, however, is still under investigation for insurance purposes, Allen said.

Allen said the child is recovering at Lehigh Valley Hospital after being flown from Pocono Hospital on Tuesday night.

The child is expected to remain in the hospital, Allen said, for the next few days while under observation.

Allen said it does not appear that the child will suffer any brain damage.