Local News

Near-drowning victim 'recovering well'

Police end investigation into pool incident

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. - A Sun Prairie seventh-grader has been released from the hospital and is "recovering well" after nearly drowning in the Sun Prairie High School pool March 20, according to Sun Prairie police.

The police department said Friday it has completed a review of the incident and found no sign of criminal activity.

A report on the near-drowning released March 22 showed the teen took off his life jacket immediately prior to the incident.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services report showed life jackets were not required during the Sun Prairie High School swimming lessons, though students could wear them if they chose. The 13-year-old boy who was found unresponsive in the pool during lessons this week had taken his off prior to the incident, according to the report.
The report also described the student as a "weak swimmer."

Sun Prairie police and emergency responders were called to the high school at 888 Grove St. at 8:56 a.m. for a report of an unresponsive 13-year-old boy.

Police said the Patrick Marsh Middle School student, one of 130 students bused to the school, was attending a swimming lesson as part of a physical education program.

Near the end of the class period, Eric Breidel, the high school pool manager and a certified lifeguard, rescued the boy from the bottom of the pool, according to the school district.

A district spokeswoman said the pool manager and the physical education staff from Patrick Marsh Middle School responded quickly to clear the pool and get the student to the pool deck to safety. The boy was breathing but not responsive, according to police.

There were six adults at the pool, including three lifeguards supervising.

Jennifer Apodaca, the district's crisis coordinator, said the school followed rules.

Breidel cited a Wisconsin Department of Health and Safety code that requires two lifeguards for the about 4,500-square-foot Sun Prairie pool. Breidel said the three lifeguards for the class were more than required by law, and he said the quick recognition and response time is partly what helped him save the student.

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