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Waikerie drowning: Harrowing details emerge of lifeguard’s fight to save boy at public pool

A lifeguard’s desperate attempts to save a boy who drowned in a community pool have emerged as an investigation is launched into the tragedy. 

Cyrus Buck (pictured) tragically drowned at Waikerie Swimming Pool, in South Australia’s Riverland region, on Saturday

Cyrus Buck, 9, was swimming and playing with friends at popular Waikerie Pool in South Australia’s Riverland region when he got into serious trouble in the water about 3.30pm on Saturday.

According to the company that runs the pool for the local council,  a ‘fully-trained’ lifeguard immediately jumped in, pulled the unconscious boy from the water and desperately tried to revive him.

 ‘[The lifeguard] worked tirelessly with the team to administer CPR until emergency services arrived,’ Belgravia Leisure said in a statement. 

Paramedics rushed Cyrus to Waikerie Hospital but he later died. 

It is understood a large inflatable pool obstacle course installed at the leisure centre was not related to the drowning, The Advertiser reported. 

It comes as SafeWork SA probe the circumstances surrounding the incident. 

Belgravia Leisure said it was saddened by the news the young boy had passed away and ‘will be offering any support we can to his relatives and friends during this difficult time’. 

‘We are also working with council to provide support to the wider community and will also be offering support to our team members at the centre who are shocked and saddened by this incident,’ they said. 

It is understood a large inflatable (pictured) that was installed at the pool was not related to the drowning

It is understood a large inflatable (pictured) that was installed at the pool was not related to the drowning

The company said ‘aquatic inflatable installations’ were ‘featured across a number of public pools’ and a ‘thorough risk assessment process’ is carried out prior to installation. 

Venues must adhere to strict manufacturer installation requirements and do not use the inflatables if safety cannot be prioritised, the company said.

The pool shut early on Saturday and remained closed over the weekend. Belgravia Leisure said the pool will reopen on Tuesday afternoon, with reduced hours of 3pm-7pm for the rest of the week. 

SafeWork SA said it was notified about the fatality about 5.15pm on Saturday and issued a verbal ‘non-disturbance notice’  (NDN) that evening to ensure the site was preserved. 

‘A SafeWork SA inspector and an investigator attended the site on Sunday morning to make inquiries and conduct an interview,’ the agency said. 

‘The NDN has since been lifted.

‘Inquiries are continuing.’

The tragedy has rocked the small town of 2600 people as locals rally to support the young boy’s parents and three older siblings. 

Waikerie Lions Club President Pam Stendara said the volunteer service community group has donated $1000 for funeral costs as the family brace to farewell their son just weeks before Christmas. 

‘It is a really sad time,’ Ms Stendara told Daily Mail Australia. 

‘We do try to help the community where we can.’

The tight-knit community, with a population of 2600 people, has rallied to support the family. Pictured: Cyrus with his siblings in 2016

The tight-knit community, with a population of 2600 people, has rallied to support the family. Pictured: Cyrus with his siblings in 2016 

Waikerie Primary principal Megan Higgins and Waikerie High principal Craig Griffiths said the school communities were ‘deeply shocked and saddened by the unexpected tragic death of one of our students’.

‘As a small, tight-knit town, the loss of any student is extremely upsetting and impacts everyone within the community,’ they said in a joint statement. 

‘We have been in contact with the family and expressed our support during this difficult time.’

Counselling is being made available to students.  

District Council of Loxton Waikerie also said support would be offered to the community and ‘especially those who were present at such a traumatic event.’

‘It is with sadness that we let the community know of a fatal incident that occurred yesterday at the Waikerie Swimming Centre,’ the council said in a Facebook post. 

‘We extend our deep condolences to the parents and family that lost their loved one.’

‘We are in shock that this has occurred in our community and it is difficult to find the words to offer comfort in a time of extreme grief.’

South Australia Police said a report is being prepared for the coroner. 

Belgravia Leisure said support was being offered to staff and members of the community in the wake of the tragedy at Waikerie Pool (pictured)

Belgravia Leisure said support was being offered to staff and members of the community in the wake of the tragedy at Waikerie Pool (pictured)

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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