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10-year-old girl OK after near-drowning at Sun Outdoors Sarasota

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SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — A 10-year-old girl was flown to the hospital after a near drowning in Sarasota Friday morning, according to the Sarasota Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said the girl was found unresponsive around 10 a.m. underwater in the pool at Sun Outdoors, formerly known as Sun N’ Fun.

The young girl is expected to be OK. However, this isn’t the first near-drowning at Sun Outdoors. According to our News Channel 8 records, there was a near drowning involving a 6-year-old four years ago.

With summer officially here, a lot of kids are hitting the pool.

“There’s a great deal of activity – young people having fun,” Steven Stottlemyer said.

Stottlemyer owns several nearby businesses and belongs to the gym at Sun Outdoors. He called Friday morning’s incident terrible.

“I don’t know how it could happen – it’s terrible,” he said. “I heard she was going to be OK and that’s a miracle and a wonderful thing.”

Deputies said the girl was conscious and breathing before she was airlifted to a hospital.

“Anytime we’re over there, there’s a lot of kids but there’s also a lot of people that are in charge of those kids,” said Stottlemyer.

The General Manager of Sun Outdoors said there are no lifeguards. There are, however, people trained in CPR on site who helped the 10-year-old girl before paramedics arrived.

The U.S. Consumer product Safety Commission reports non-fatal drownings in kids under the age of 15 remain high. It said drowning’s increased by 17% in 2021 with 6,800 injuries.

CPSC said from 2017 to 2019, there were an average of 389 pool or spa-related drowning deaths each year. Of those, 73% involved children under 5 years old.

The agency said the past two summers, COVID-19 precautions kept kids away from public pools. Now that restrictions have lifted, it is urging communities to make water safety a priority.

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