MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A strange and prolonged pool rescue has left a Mount Pleasant boy with a sore hand, and a community without its main public pool during the heart of a punishing heat wave.
As CBS2’s Lou Young reported, the pool repair people are working under shade tents to protect themselves from the brutal summer sun in Mount Pleasant on Friday, following the freak swimming pool accident.
Lifeguard Matt Holzer was present when the unidentified 6-year-old jammed his finger into an exhaust jet at the shallow end of the big pool late Wednesday.
“We came in, we used a lubricant on his finger, and his finger got swollen so we couldn’t pull it out,” Holzer said, “and then Westchester Tech knew and took over when they came.”
The local volunteer firefighters worked nearly six hours before finally cutting out a four-foot-long section of the stainless steel circulation system with the boy still attached. Witnesses said it was a remarkably calm process, and the boy was not crying or especially distraught.
“He was very calm,” said witness Amy Corman. “I don’t think that he was in pain; he was just a little scared that he was obviously stuck.”
The boy and the metal were safely separated at the hospital. But for the pool, the timing could not have been worse.
“The worst three days of the year — the hottest days, OK? And this kid has to stick his finger in the little plug hole,” said Paul Tretola of Mount Pleasant.
The boy was never underwater, so there was no mortal danger. He was just stuck and uncomfortable.
It was a long ordeal, and in many ways inexplicable. The question remained Friday afternoon as to why he his finger in the jet.
It was so inexplicable that even on Friday with the pool closed, lifeguards were posted to make sure nobody tries to take a swim anyway.
Swimming in the blazing heat Friday afternoon was confined to a diving pool and a kiddie pool nearby. But a local private club offered its big pool to displaced patrons.
The pool director understands.
“It’s Murphy’s Law with pools — there’s always an accident at the worst possible time,” said pool director Mike Williams, “and thank God the child is OK.”
And as for the repairs, Mount Pleasant Town Supervisor Carl Fulgenzi said, “If everything goes right, we’ll probably be open tomorrow”
CBS2 is told the child is staying indoors in air conditioning on Friday, and is doing just fine.