Boy, 7, drowns at public swimming pool in Thompson

The mayor of Thompson, Man., says the community is in shock after a seven-year-old boy drowned in a civic swimming pool in the city on Sunday.

RCMP were called just after 3 p.m. to the Norplex Pool.

When they arrived, emergency responders were performing CPR on the boy from the community of Split Lake. He had been pulled from the water by lifeguards.

The boy was with a group of friends and wandered off to a deeper part of the pool, where he was not able to keep himself afloat, RCMP said.

The boy was rushed to the local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Mayor Dennis Fenske said he's already spoken to Split Lake Chief Doreen Spence to offer condolences to the boy's family and community.

"It is a tragedy. Any time there is a life lost, it's an absolute tragedy, especially when it's someone so young," Fenske said.

Foul play is not suspected.

2 lifeguards on duty


Fenske said there was a "normal load" of swimmers on Sunday.

The pool has lifeguards on duty at all times, he added, and the number of guards depends on how many swimmers there are. The ratio is 25 people to one lifeguard. 

On Sunday, there were two lifeguards on duty — the usual number for a Sunday swim, Fenske said.

The shallow end of the pool is around a meter deep. A bulkhead separates that area from the deep end, which is around 3½ meters deep, Fenske said.

"Protocol is when there's an incident identified there's an alarm that's pulled and then our staff reacted," he said. "And my understanding is that the efforts were made to revive up until the point where the EMS personnel arrived. They continued with efforts as well as transported [the boy] to the Thompson General Hospital.

"The pool is cleared. The area is secured. And then the staff are doing what they have to do."

RCMP and the office of the chief medical examiner continue to investigate.

Fenske said an internal investigation is also taking place reviewing what happened and the pool's procedures.

The last time somebody drowned at the pool was in the 1990s, Fenske said.

The pool will remain closed until the investigations are complete.