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DHEC investigating incident at Avista Resort pool after child was trapped under water

The front of the Avista Resort the morning after a 12-year-old boy was taken to the hospital after being stuck under water at the hotel's pool for about 10 minutes.
The front of the Avista Resort the morning after a 12-year-old boy was taken to the hospital after being stuck under water at the hotel's pool for about 10 minutes. jbell@thesunnews.com

S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control is investigating after a 12-year-old boy was stuck under water at the Avista Resort pool because grating over an opening had been removed. Witnesses say the boy was stuck under water for almost 10 minutes.

DHEC released the resort's pool inspections from last June, showing all pools at the resort were compliant with grates that cover openings.

North Myrtle Beach police were called to the resort about 9:45 p.m. Monday after reports that the child's leg was sucked in the lazy river's suction line, according to a release from the city.

A three-foot by three-foot grate covering the six-inch suction line that is part of the lazy river had been removed, the release said. According to state pool regulations, "outlet grates must be anchored with corrosion resistant screws that cannot be removed without the use of tools and slots must not be more than one-half inch wide."



The Avista Resort pool appeared to be open but with no swimmers Tuesday morning.

Hotel manager Jim Eggen and city spokesperson Pat Dowling did not return phone calls before press time.

On Monday night, police performed CPR on the boy after detecting a slight pulse and the child was transported to Grand Strand Medical Center, the release said. Details on his condition have not been released.

indoor lazy river.jpg
Crime scene tape was up around the indoor lazy river the night of the incident. David Wetzel dwetzel@thesunnews.com

DHEC inspects public pools at least twice a year during swimming seasons. Inspections are unannounced and are in addition to any preseason, complaint or incident investigations the department receives.

The resort has signs up that say pool hours are from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Christian Boschult and David Wetzel contributed to this report.

Hannah Strong: 843-444-1765, @HannahLStrong

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