Home>702Times>Gym Staff Unaware of Drowning for 20 Minutes, Records Show 24 Day Delay in Reporting Death

Gym Staff Unaware of Drowning for 20 Minutes, Records Show 24 Day Delay in Reporting Death

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, June 14, 2024 10:32 am

It took gym staff approximately 20 minutes to realize a customer had drowned in their pool, but records show it took 24 days for the call of distress to reach health district officials.

Las Vegas gym pools have been exempt from a lifeguard requirement since 2020 following a request from the Las Vegas Athletic Club (LVAC) to the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD). The exemption came with the condition that gym staff were still required to monitor their pools through a video camera system. However, health district records show LVAC pools were closed multiple times due to a lack of observation from staff at the front desk video monitoring system.

On the morning of February 4, Leticia Tripplet, 58, began swimming at the LVAC on North Decatur Boulevard. After about 30 minutes, she showed signs of struggling. Surveillance video showed her kicking erratically and grasping the edge of the pool with one hand. For nearly 10 minutes, no staff member noticed her distress. Eventually, another swimmer noticed Tripplet was motionless and helped pull her from the pool. CPR was initiated, but Tripplet was pronounced dead at 9:13 a.m. by paramedics.

Health district officials noted it took 24 days for LVAC to notify them of Tripplet’s death. During this period, another incident occurred at a different LVAC location where a customer nearly drowned without staff intervention.

SNHD Director of Environmental Health Christopher Saxton reported that health district inspectors found several violations at the gym, including deleted surveillance video. The health district’s investigation revealed that LVAC staff’s statements about their response were inaccurate.

Following these incidents, the health district revoked LVAC’s lifeguard exemption. Despite LVAC’s arguments against the decision, the health district concluded that the gym did not provide sufficient evidence to operate their facilities without lifeguards. The report emphasized that video monitoring is no substitute for an in-person lifeguard who can quickly assess and respond to emergencies.

Source: 8 News Now

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