Seven-year-old girl drowns at Mt. Pleasant Aquatic Center
By BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
What began as a way to beat the heat of an oppressive July afternoon ended tragically for a young Mt. Pleasant girl, her family and friends.
Seven-year-old Jazmine Roth-Hines of Mt. Pleasant drowned at the Mt. Pleasant Aquatic Center Friday afternoon.
Later in the weekend, Roth-Hines’ friends had erected a memorial of roses and balloons on the west fence of the aquatic center to serve as a reminder that she will not be forgotten.
City officials were at a loss this morning to explain how such a tragedy could happen.
“It is certainly a tragedy, we are all saddened by it, but it was an accident,” said a solemn City Administrator Brent Schleisman. “Accidents do happen. I wish we had some answers.”
City Parks and Recreation Gary Grunow said the pool was fully staffed with seven lifeguards.
“There are usually seven lifeguards out and two in and we rotate them. Plus the manager and cashier were there,” added Schleisman.
Grunow said that about 50-60 people were in the pool at the time of the incident, which was approximately 5:45 p.m. “Generally the crowd thins out around 5 p.m., Schleisman noted.
Another swimmer initially discovered Roth-Hines, Grunow said. “Some lady told us she was playing with her kids and felt something against her leg. She thought that it was just somebody swimming underwater. But then she stepped back and saw it was a person. She pulled her out and screamed and the lifeguard ran over immediately and took the girl to the side of the pool and started performing CPR.”
Another lifeguard, who was off-duty but had stopped by, joined his peer to perform two-person CPR. Grunow stated revival attempts were unsuccessful.
The parks director said the incident occurred in the west half of the lap pool area, where the water is four to five feet deep. Grunow said witnesses never heard Roth-Hines screaming or thrashing in the water.
Mt. Pleasant lifeguards are generally high school or college students and many of the lifeguards have had considerable experience, city officials said. Lifeguards are not allowed to have their cellphones with them while on duty.
Roth-Hines was transported to the Henry County Health Center by ambulance where she was pronounced dead. The Mt. Pleasant Police Department said “the drowning appears to be accidental with no foul play suspected.” The investigation is continuing.
According to the police report, Roth-Hines was dropped off by her father, Michael Hines, at the pool along with four friends at approximately 3:30 p.m. Friday.
Roth-Hines’ obituary can be found on page 6 of today’s News.