I don’t know whether to file this under “eww” or “wtf?” Maybe both:
Massachusetts officials have closed a busy public swimming pool after a woman’s dead body went unnoticed in the water for two days as people continued to swim, the Boston Globe reported Friday.
The permit for the state-run swimming pool expired six months ago, and a city inspector who examined the site on Tuesday — just hours before the body surfaced — did not see the remains because the water was so murky, the newspaper reported.
The victim, Haitian immigrant Marie Joseph, 36, was last seen going down a slide into the Veterans Memorial Pool in the town of Fall River on Sunday.
Her body was not found until it surfaced late Tuesday, when local teenagers jumped the fence for an after-hours swim.
The water may have become murky because the body had begun to decompose, the Globe reported.
Everyone and anyone who has anything to do with that pool needs to be fired.
Oh, that explains it.
No Lifeguard on Duty
And why had the pool not been drained when it lost the permit. And why didn’t the inspector insist that the pool be closed down and drained? And how often was the damn thing cleaned, anyway?
And aren’t you glad it wasn’t your teenager swimming around in that soup?
I took a pool and spa operator cert course a year ago for work. There’s NO WAY a pool murky enough to conceal a body should have been open, and no way people should have been in it even if it was.
That is just atrocious.
Gotta ask–why would anybody swim in a pool so cloudy the bottom wasn’t visible? That’s what those things, what are they called? Oh yeah: FILTERS are for.
Regardless, I feel for the poor woman and her family. What a way to go.
If the water in a swimming pool is so murky that you can’t see the bottom 12 feet down, it should have been closed as a health hazard immediately.
Everyone working at the pool should be fired, as should all the inspectors who have visited it. And some of them should be prosecuted.
I guess cream isn’t the only thing that floats to the top.
Mike Kay (The Base)
lolz. Kooky Kucinich Defects to Syria
He went to Damascus this week to suck up to Bashar al-Assad and he blamed the massacres on the demonstrators.
I don’t mind having a dialogue with despots like Netanyahu or Assad. but there’s something seriously fucked up when you trash the dead for walking into the government bullets.
And this is just plain loony — he justifies the violent crackdown:
Since he’s been redistricted out of a seat, maybe he’s auditioning to be the next spokesperson for the Syrian secret police.
I’m an ocean person, not a pool person. I know too much about bacteria.
I can’t believe they allowed people to swim in that pool. Blech.
From the article:
Joseph, who worked as a housekeeper, slid into a side of the pool that is 12 feet (3.7 meters) deep. Friends told the paper that she apparently did not know how to swim.
This is not a positive development for President Obama’s get out the vote efforts.
How many folks came down with something from swimming at that pool? It was already filthy: adding a dead body was even worse. And how is it that nobody even was checking to see if every swimmer had made it out?
This is certainly a case of negligence to say the least. The Joseph family will probably, irony of ironies, get enough for their own private pool.
Needless to say, they might as well close the pool permanently: anyone who’s the least bit fastidious will avoid the place. Or rip up the pool and put a new one in it’s place, that one’s done.
Boston Globe says you couldn’t see a police diver 4 feet down in the deep end.
Also very strange, from John’s:
So Joseph’s friends all just went home?
1) Joseph’s survivors will see some big money.
2) Pool operators around the country will be way more careful as this story spreads, although maybe you will see some municipal pools closing this summer because they cannot operate them safely (adequate staffing and standards) with strapped budgets.
PS: awesome blogpost title
I unfortunately have some experience with this. You’d be surprised how hard it is to see a body at the bottom of an 10′ deep pool just wandering by. Many, many years ago I went to the community pool early one morning and only because there was a timer to turn on the pool lights which lit things from below, and the towel and whatnot on two lounges that piqued my curiosity did I notice the two bodies at the bottom.
Coroner figured that dad and daughter went to the pool the night before, daughter got in trouble in the deep end, dad jumped in to help her and they both ended up drowning.
The pools can be somewhat murkier where they’ve shifted to salination over chlorine. The chlorine pools were very clear, but the salt ones cloud up a bit more, which over 10′ really adds up. When my son and I are playing diving games in the deep end, it’s really, really hard to spot the thing you dropped down there unless you’re in full sun, even with a lot of contrast against the bottom color. The upshot is that you can easily swim down with eyes open, which I could never do with chlorine, so you find it on the way. The community pools where I live now are all saline, which I love.
It’s hard to imagine a better way to discourage the use of public pools, now that polio is out of fashion.
I think BO_Bill is angling for yet another vacation from this blog.
@Elizabelle-Something is not right here. So her friends witness the boy telling the lifeguard that there is someone struggling under water. Lifeguards refuse. What happened then? I find it hard to believe that someone would “just go home.”
Hate to tell you, but bacterial levels at SoCal beaches is vastly higher than it is in the neighborhood pools. Not sure what stretch of ocean you’re in, but out here it’s the reverse of what you describe.
Yes, comment #10 deserves some banning.
@Martin-at the public pool in the town where I grew up, I think they gave us all pins with numbers on them when we checked in that needed to be returned before we went home…I think I understand why.
I don’t that particular BOB comment makes enough sense to warrant banning.
I would correct his attempt at a race baiting voter fraud slur, but will not for fear I would be (justifiably) banned.
BTW, what is with Cole’s ‘bans’? They don’t seem to be permanent, but always temporary. Do banned commenters get a friendly email notice? BJ bans should be renamed ‘in the penalty box’ I guess.
I feel sorry for the poor woman.
I stopped swimming because cannot get to an outdoor pool easily enough, and the indoor pool is used to be so chlorinated that swimming in it gradually started given me that appearance of an alien (or is it inner earth?) reptaloid overlord.
I did not know about salinization.
Y’know, I swear I remember BOB as being a seemingly well-meaning, slightly trollish neanderthal on the Obsidian Wings blog two or three years ago. As opposed to the Full Metal Asshole he is in this thread.
Several years ago, after a hot day in the swamp I went swimming with some friends in an abandoned pool that was the color of pea soup. I was concerned about gators, but can only guess at what else was in that thing.
Yeah, the pool where I discovered the family was relatively large, but it was summer and so people would go over early and late quite frequently. They were apparently the last two there for the evening, with no lifeguards.
My current community pools are small, though. For the development, there’s about 20 pools, none more than a block from anyone’s house. There’s an electronic pass card to get in, that you also need to swipe to get out. Kids can get a card once they’re 10 or something, but it only works when a lifeguard has swiped that they’re on duty. It’s a pretty good system overall, and some of the pools have people there 24/7. One of the community staff usually takes a lap through each pool about every 2 hours, even at night.
The public pool I swam in as a kid was named after a boy who drowned swimming in a gravel pit. That was uncool.
For us it’s fairly recent – within the last 5 years. They tried it out on 2 pools and it was so popular (and just as effective) that they switched all the rest over within the year. I couldn’t swim in the chlorinated ones – wasn’t badly chlorinated, but I nearly drown as a kid and the chlorination freaks me out a bit. The ocean was fine, though, so this was a very very welcome change for me.
Our parents made all 6 of us kids take a full course of swimming lessons starting as young as the course would accept us. Boating on Lake Michigan every summer dictated it for safety.
BillinGlendaleCA (aka 10amla)
Saline instead of Chlorine? How am I supposed to have green hair at the end of summer. All the kids with pool had green hair come September when I was growing up.
Yes, we also wore onions on our belt buckels.
About the family: I bet the kid said something, but the other adults in the party dismissed it and thought she got a ride with someone else home. If they went back to check, they probably got the same dismissive response-that is, if the lifeguards were even there at all when they went back. It could be that even the place itself was closed, and they couldn’t get anyone to even check.
Lazy or incompetant. Or both. Lifeguards should always check the pool before leaving, but they probably didn’t want to do the extra work.
BillinGlendaleCA (aka 10amla)
The SoCal ocean water really is aweful. The reason I’ve not gone to the beach here in 30 years. The sand kinda sucks too.
@28.BillinGlendaleCA (aka 10amla)
Yup, using a MIOX system you use somewhat salty water in your pool and manufacture free chlorine, sodium hypochlorite and hypochlorous acid on site, using electrolysis. Similar chemicals but lower concentrations and much more stable.
Just because this is too sad:
Loudon Wainwright III, The Swimming Song – with an English Springer Spaniel.
Pool salinization sounds pretty nifty:
@30 BillinGlendaleCA (aka 10amla)
Waddya mean SoCal beaches are not good. Sand is bad? There is more than one beach there.
But overall, you are right:
Number of beach closures due to pollution rose last year, report says
” The states with the most polluted beaches in 2010 were Louisiana, Ohio and Indiana, based on the percentage of times beaches failed to meet federal health standards. The cleanest beaches could be found in New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Hawaii and Delaware.
California fell near the bottom, ranking 22nd out of 30 states.
Three Southern California beaches made the report’s list of Top 10 “Repeat Offender” beaches with chronic pollution problems: Avalon Beach on Catalina Island, Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro and Doheny State Beach in Dana Point. ”
Rainy years make for polluted beaches in California, probably elsewhere too.
At the Y pool where me and my wife swim the lifeguards are make transits around the pool prevent such overlooks.
Not a Baby Ruth.
Raw Story did not read the second page of the Globe on-line story, where the Globe talked to neighbors and the people she was at the pool with. They thought she might have gone home when she wasn’t there with the group at pool closing time.
Still, it needs to be thoroughly investigated. A lot of questions about what happened and why the pool was still open after losing permits and not having been inspected for over a year.
First, make ’em swim laps until THEY almost drown. Then give ’em a rest break while you go to the head.
We had the buddy tag system at the lake I used to swim in.
This story is bizarre…
Everybody, who wants to, should have a chance to learn to swim, IMHO.
I say, make it a crash national program. Why shouldn’t economic stimulus be fun.
As for certain people hating on California beaches, below is Heal the Bay’s Beach Report Card homepage. Which I need to check since I been going on memory of what are clean versus dirty beaches.
Looks to me like there are plenty of A grades on SoCal (and unfortunately, plenty of F grades in SF Bay Area. Of course, you have, what, five or ten days of the year you want to go in the water around SF).
But then, all Glendale beaches are pretty lousy, IMHO :).
I swim daily at the Y and their salt process is called ChlorKing. Works well but it can be murky.
On a lighter note, Hot Dudes with Kittens! Seems front-page worthy to me, perhaps an open thread…
I’m pretty sure Cole’s gone Galt from his comment sections. Either that or he’s refusing to fix the Reply button in order to thin the readership herd. Or he’s refusing to fix the Reply button because he doesn’t want us to talk to each other anymore.
And now that I think about it, that last option is the most probable, given how we tend to talk to each other.
There is nothing wrong with concluding that a person who jumps into a 12-foot pool without knowing how to swim would vote for President Obama in 2112. It is a simple exercise in Logic.
Who’s this “Cole” person you’re talking about? Does he have anything to do with this discussion forum?
[email protected] 44.
Good to know that you will vote for President Obama in 2012
Fall River may be one of the poorest cities in Massachusetts. But still. The mind reels.
We go to Doheny a lot. Olamendi’s is across the street, and you just can’t beat that. I participated in a pollution study there, and the problem is a combination of geography – the way the coast is shaped causes it to accumulate pollution (and other things, if you’ve noticed how rocky the beach is) the proximity to the harbor and how runoff from the cliffs and town behind the beach interacts with the beach.
Very far from the finest beach in CA, overall, but I’m not about to give up the good mexican food.
I dunno, some people jump into discussions without knowing how to think, or knowing anything for that matter. I do some times, but try not to all the time.
I have mixed feelings. IMHO BOB is the most artful troll here, from either the the other side, or our side of the political divide.
Too bad if BOB gets whatever BOB is banned again, but it is up to BOB. So much latitude is allowed here, a person really has to work at it. Looks like BOB has the needed work ethic, at least along that line.
This is screwed up. Now the flooded quarry pits in Quincy are actually safer than the public pools.
BO-Bill…Ailes dream was to start a TV news station for those who did not want to think for themselves. He obviously succeeded.
This drowning incident in Iowa last summer was just about as bad. There were 10 lifeguards on and 20 camp counselors on duty at a municipal pool when 2 boys drown. They went undiscovered for over an hour.
Isn’t Fall River the place where Lizzie Borden took an axe?
The flooded quarry pits in my home town where a boy drowned decades ago have now been turned into a housing development called ‘The Ponds’. I just don’t know what to say about that.
This is what I don’t understand..even if the water were murky, don’t lifeguards have poles and nets that can reach the bottom. Aren’t they suppose to scan the pool for lost items (hopefully not bodies) before they leave?
OT…I’m watching Friday Night Lights and I for one will miss it.
Hardly. Being an asshole requires little effort or intellect. I’ve “met” trolls at other sites who make BO_Bill’s feeble attempts look pathetic by comparison…
A person who knows how to swim can still drown. All that has to happen is you have a seizure, or you get woozy from not having eaten recently, or you have a heart attack, blah blah blah.
See, the thing is, you know that whatever policies were in place regarding the inspection, management, and maintenance of the pools, those policies are not as stringent as they used to be, because public anything isn’t what it used to be. Would it have happened if the pools had been turned over to the private sector? Probably not, because the private sector would have concluded that the whole enterprise wasn’t nearly profitable enough, and the pools would have been closed already.
That little kid is going to have nightmares forever.
Fall River is still where u’d go for a good porco alentejana.. still trying to find a redeeming factor for quincy.
If that were a pool run by a private entity, I guarantee this would not have happened. What a striking epitome of govt-run stuff!
The college I went to had a flooded quarry pit behind it (also turned into a development since I graduated.) All summer long we’d go back there after it got dark, make a campfire, get drunk, go skinny dipping and nobody (remarkably) ever drowned. That was great fun.
Really? Nobody has ever drowned at the Y? Or at a private university? Or at the health club?
That’s remarkable. What’s more, you guarantee it? I think it’s awesome that it’s physically impossible for people to drown in private sector water.
The Torture Never Stops
BJ is the only site where I bother to look through the comments enough to even notice the trolls. The other blogs I look at are very boring econ, finance, and statistics blogs.
Sorry to hear that BOB is a mediocre troll at best.
But given my limited blog comment section cred, look at the competition here. Not even worth noticing.
The idea, I think, is that no one would be able to afford enough in which to drown.
The old BOB was better. Isn’t this one just a Johnny come lately that stole the name?
I feel like Cole took away our reply button because we misbehaved somehow.
Maybe one of you kept chewing his wallet?
Old, new, in between, they’re united in the disdain of black folks.
As a swimmer I have to say chlorine is much better if you’re in the pool swimming laps for an hour cause the salt tastes like crap after 15 minutes.
Also, too. DC public pools totally rock. I can’t imagine even trying to get into a pool that is that murky.
Unfortunately, Fall River, like many other small American cities, is very poor as is most of the population, and the city government is run by local business owners who act only in self interest. The unfortunates who swim in that pool have very few recreational outlets. Even though we’re in southeast Massachusetts and “close to the water,” there are no public ocean beaches closer than 1/2 hour drive and no public lake beaches that I have heard of in 10 years living here.
Two weeks ago the city tore down the neighborhood playground equipment because of complaints that it was unsightly. Some minor maintenance and landscaping would have improved things 1000%, but instead they waste what little money there is putting up useless dog-poop bag dispensers that no one fills. The city can’t even manage to maintain adequate trash barrels in the parks.
The pools are filled with kids every day because there is little else for them to do on a hot summer day but hang out on street corners.
It often feels like I’m living in a city of broken dreams.
@ 66 jl
It’s frustrating that I can not always convey tone in written word. I wasn’t trying to be dismissive to you (just to BO_Bill). I’ve run across some real “high class” trolls online and BO_Bill isn’t one of them. As for BJ, it’s often difficult to tell who is and who isn’t a troll (except for obvious ones like BO_Bill). Some people here make such absurd arguments/statements that it’s almost impossible to tell if they are serious or are just doing it to get a rise out of someone. Mostly, IMO, it seems that stalker-trolls are (or at least have been) more prevalent here than your garden variety asshole troll…
Sick Sense. They Do Not See Dead People.
I’d like to see the rely button return eventually, but for now I’m enjoying the temporary(?) respite. To me and for me, replying is all together far too addictive. Now I have to really make an effort, which means that I am far less likely to become embroiled in a futile argument/discussion about something that is not really all that important in the scheme of things (oops, too late, see my earlier comments regarding BOB). Thank you, Cole, and let me start this meeting by saying, “My name is Rihilism, and I have a replying problem”…
I’ve lived most of my life in small towns. It’s just a personal preference; they have their positives and their negatives like any other place. It’s another indictment of so-called conservatives that while championing small town values they are looting anything of value from these places and leaving the remainder to degenerate into medieval cesspits. It’s unfortunate that the people who vote for them aren’t the only ones who suffer.
Sometimes there’s nothing you can really say to something beyond the obligatory:
“What. The. Fuck?!”
@Rihilism: You made lemonade with this proble-tunity.
I am digging your positivity.
(I appear to be free-styling here. Can I get a beat?)
FTW. Most excellent comment.
Fall River isn’t a small town, it’s a small city, population around 100,000. This city was built on light manufacturing, most of which is gone. It’s been sliding downhill for many decades.
One thing Fall River does have is a pretty good climate. Winters have a reasonable amount of snow and summers aren’t too hot. And the bakeries are good. Nothing too fancy but respectable.
Sad, sad story.
Fall River was pretty wealthy one hundred years ago… there is still some fine, beautifully built neighborhoods along the ridge in the center of town. It is notable that even at the peak of the property boom, when investors were driving as far as Springfield to purchase rental housing, the values for Fall River properties did not go up much at all.
Jesus, thanks, John.
At least she went out . . . on a slide :D
“Dead woman last seen having shitloads of fun”
As I’ve said about Caz before, he takes pride in being completely and totally ignorant.
I don’t understand it myself, but apparently he likes people to realize that he’s an idiot with five seconds of Googling. Maybe it’s an elaborate practical joke.
My brother the cop was just talking about some video seminar with a lifeguard who said drownings are over in 20 to 60 seconds.
That is not much time for someone to be spotted in all the hubub.
That true, GregB. I once had a membership at a pool- it was a Hyatt Hotel. One day swimming, I saw a man in a suit and tie gesticulating on the edge of the pool and looked over to see a small boy just standing on the bottom of the pool looking up! I dove and got him up, he was coughing but OK…..the lifeguard missed the whole thing……
but the father? Now if that was my kid I would have jumped in myself, suit be damned. So, people can drown in privately run pools with their well to do father standing right there watching.
That’s doubly sad; a whole small city with nothing to do. I was a machinist for more than twenty years before offshoring forced a career change. Light manufacturing was an excellent source of well-paid jobs that enabled folks without a college degree to live a modestly middle class life. It breaks my heart that both political parties were bribed into advocating globalization and thereby breaking the backs of cities and towns like yours in the process.
Where’s that fucking reply button! Damn you, John Cole! Dear sir and/or madam, how dare you accuse me of positivity! I am a dedicated cynic, ordained by the Lord to find fault and to spread a heavy layer of
Despite my poutrage, I will generously offer you a suitable beat. Smoke ’em if ya got ’em.
A silly question: I thought bodies floated? Wouldn’t she have floated on the surface? It is a very sad story.
It really beggars belief that, murky water or no, the body of an adult drowning victim should just go unnoticed at the bottom of a public swimming pool – for two days – and NO ONE, apparently, even thought to look/inspect/rake the pool? “Incompetence” falls way short here as a descriptor; John’s right; heads should roll for this.
BTW, we’ve had a salt/electrolysis system on our pool for years: when adjusted correctly and working right, the water shouldn’t taste of either salt or chlorine – though, admittedly, it’s a lot harder to keep pool water clean and clear the more there is of it. Never minding the dead bodies…
Oh, and yeah: what happened to the fucking Reply button?
No one productive can. In private sector water the virtuous rise to the top.
I would like to have a reply function where the reply is posted directly under the post being replied to making it easier to keep continuity with the particular discussion
They do eventually (gas from decomp).
Speaking of BOB, isn’t that the guy with no arms and no legs floating in the pool?
They might be union workers running the pool. Still think they should all be fired??