Breaking News: Divers find missing child’s body

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2008 at 10:08 pm

By Evonne Coutros and Kipp Clark

Staff Writers

The body of a child who went missing at Graydon pool in
Ridgewood this afternoon was removed from the water moments

The family of the child reported the boy, wearing a purple bathing
suit, dove into the water and didn’t surfaace shortly before 3 p.m.,
Police Sgt. David Kiernan said.

Less than 45 minutes later, divers found the body, which was
taken to Valley Hospital.

Investigators are on their way to the scene.

Find this article at:


With latest update…
Note: County Divers and equipment at the scene together with many pieces of Ridgewood Rescue and Fire Department. More details expected soon.
Dom Nizza … domnizza@netzero.com
Attached photo here By Evonne Coutros The Record

  1. Terrible, the muddy water makes it really hard to see anyone under the water

  2. Unacceptable!

  3. Heartbreaking. Our prayers go out to the family and friends.

  4. 7:11, be careful with that “unacceptable” comment. Do you mean the guards? If so, how do you know that there is any fault with them? Those kids do a hell of a job and I’ve seen them drill and practice. They are torn up about this something awful.
    Do you mean the condition of the water? Yes, that was most likely a huge contributing factor, but we all make our choices to swim or not to.
    We don’t know the factors surrounding this horrendous incident. One never knows if a child has an underlying medical condition also.
    Please be careful with a judgmental comment such as “Unacceptable.” It reeks of blame and finger-pointing.

  5. I wonder what Jacques Harlow and Kim Ringler-Shagin think of the “Ridgewood Clear Water Project” now. This is exactly what we were trying to avoid. Shame on you and all the town council who did nothing but discourage every effort by a large, well-established group of concerned citizens to get a clear water pool established at Graydon. Think you’ll be sending your grandkids there now???

  6. say a prayer for the victim and family

  7. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of this boy.

  8. Very very sad, people have to realise that Graydon is not a clear water pool and must apply the same caution as if swimming in lakes or rivers. I also feel very sorry for the life-guards who do a great job.

  9. I have a problem with a few things… 1. Why aren’t badges checked for deep water swimming? If he was visiting family, as the stories mentioned, what kind of badge did he have?
    2…An officer DURING the search said he was having trouble swimming in the deep water and that was the last anyone saw of him. If so,why wasnt the deep water searched first and how come a lifeguards did not see him struggle? That part of the water has 2 chairs overlooking the area, not to mention the 3’rd chair on the high dive platform area. 3..maybe a chair in the middle of the deepest area would suffice?..or a clear water pool for safety reasons? It’s alot of water to cover.
    4. Instead of scolding kids for chasing away those disturbing ducks, they should be more focused on patron’s safety.
    5. maybe someone accredited for underwater scuba rescues with oxygen and a mask should be there for exactly these kinds of emergencies. The current lifeguards, even with flippers, are not equiped to see AND traverse the bottom of the pool in a quick responding emergency situation, IMO. Hence, it was an EMS scuba diver that found his body… I was there.

  10. Willard5,

    Jaques and Kim are not to blame for this. Nor are they the reason that Graydon remains a natural pool/pond. There are hundreds of residents that prefer it that way. I am not one of them. But, I think it is deplorable to politicize this horrible tragedy.

  11. Let’s save the blame for a later date and support this boys family, relatives and friends for now.

    We, as the Ridgewood Community, should be asking how we can help and save finger pointing for a later date. .

    Let’s all include this boy and his loved ones in our prayers tonight. Huge your kids a little longer and thank God they are still with you.

  12. 8:33, You have to admit that this is one of the things the clear water project is trying to prevent. Sometimes it takes an event like this for people to wake up to how unsafe this lake is. The ironic thing is that the people that are opposed to the clear water are people that don’t use the pool.

  13. How about we stop bashing people and start praying for this family. A 14 year old boy is dead and you immature people are blaming the former council members??. Imagine it was one of your family members. Maybe we should thank the brave fire department, police, and lifeguards who gave their all to try and save this innocent boy. Show some respect to the family and get over yourselves!

  14. You people are messed up. Something this awful happens and instead of trying to reach out and send some support you are right away looking to point the blame at someone. What is wrong with you? Just know one day we will all have to answer when our maker calls and I hope you will be ready to answer.

  15. Should we ban swimming in all lakes in the country to avoid future drownings? Three people drowned at the shore this weekend. Should we ban beach swimming? Life is a risk.

  16. I would just like to echo the comments of 9.06. This not a time to point fingers. This is very sad for the whole Ridgewood community. Lets build on the lessons learnt. We should also thank all the emergency services and life guards who did everything theycould to help. They deserve our praise and thanks at this difficult time.

  17. They used to have scuba tanks for certified scuba lifeguards to use a number of years ago that were taken away for liability reasons. As a former employee and guard at this facility, it is very easy for a kid to slip through the cracks on a hot and crowded day. There are kids splashing around, screaming and holding breath holding competitions that cause mini false alarms on a day to day basis.
    The area where the child was found is in the periphery of the guard on the L dock and the other 2 guard stands are aimed at the dock because that is where most incidents occur. Considering there are stories like this every summer at Darlington, it is rather impressive that a true drowning at Graydon is an anomaly.
    This was a tragic accident and my prayers are with the family. I commend the guards, fire and police departments for their efforts today.

  18. 8:51…right on

  19. 9:18…I think people handle news like this in different ways. My guess is that most here don’t know the boy or his family and, therefore, have no way to comfort them at this time. So the thought turns to, “How can we avoid this in the future?” For those who have already been thinking about this issue, I assume that this situation is saddening and maddening on several levels – not only because we lost someone today, but also because there is a chance that it could have been avoided. And while I hope that no one points fingers, I do hope that we as a community can take steps to make sure that this never happens again.

    I am not a member of the pool. I have only lived here a short while and don’t find the idea of swimming there appealing, for the reasons others have stated in the past. But one major reason was the inability to see the bottom. I never wanted to experience a minute’s worth of pain, not knowing if my child was down there. Today’s news brought that back to me again, particularly when I heard it took over 30 minutes to find the boy. If it was a regular pool, he would have been spotted in a fraction of that time. So, while I understand why some are calling for mourning and consideration of the family, I also understand why some are frustrated over this situation.

    Up until this point, I never felt like I should speak up since not swimming there was just my preference, not a belief that I felt I should impose on others. However, after this, if others are going to push for a regular pool to be built, and if it is truly something supported by a large percentage of the residents, I am definitely for it and would offer my support in any non-combative way possible.

  20. How about a steamlined and designated area to enter the deep water with someone checking badges for acceptance after a more stringent deep water test is administered?
    And if more people don’t pass this deep water test,develop the 4 feet area so they can have just as much fun!..open the island up; get a slide or two…use better imagination!
    Many people are depressed after today’s events but let the kids also learn from this. There is a lesson here about water safety; the dangers of not knowing your capabilities; the frailty of life; the need for everyone to swim with somebody; to watch our kids.
    There also might be a lesson for the crew there and “emergency/first response” management, if they believe there is something to improve through this loss.

  21. 8:58 – You are a deplorable person for politicizing this tragedy.

  22. I was there and spoke with the child swimming with him. He said the boy’s last words were “Help.Help” He could not swim and was having trouble. The town employees acted quickly and professionaly. This was an isolated incident and the life guards were in a state of shock. I think a CPR employee should be hired nd have EMS there at all times. My heart goes out to this family.

  23. All I have to say is that is absolutely ridiculous that anybody is using a death like this to make a case on the clear water project. You can leave that aside and focus on the real issue here, the fact that yes, drownings occur, at clear water pools too, and no one is at fault. For all anyone knows, the boy could have had a cramp or a seizure underwater. As far as the lifeguard situation goes, those kids are extremely well trained and drill on these procedures 5 days a week. I’m not sure anyone should be commenting on the procedures taken because no one knows exactly what was run and why except for the lifeguards and emergency personnel. On a crowded day at the pool, the lifeguards must be watching the annoying kids pushing and shoving each other off the 12 foot as well as all the kids swimming in the water. It is very hard for someone to discern who is and isnt a deep water swimmer, without the identification being directly on the swimmer, because most kids swim doggy paddle anyways, whether they’ve passed the deep water test or not. I think the last place to point the finger is at any staff or emergency rescuers today, who are all home tonight feeling pretty awful about what they’ve just experienced. What this town needs to do, instead, is come together to support the victim’s family and get through this as a community.

  24. Drownings occur in clearwater pools, while lifeguards are on duty everyear. A better system to monitor who is swimming in the deep water needs to be in place. After taking the deep water test, all swimmers should be issued a brightly colored necklace that must be worn while swimming in the deep water. This way the lifeguards can easily see who is capable of swimming in deep water and who is not. This idea was put into place in Illinois at a public clearwater pool, after drownings occured.

  25. I apologize. Many of you were right – it is not appropriate to politicize or place blame at this time. I was wrong and I’m sorry.

    Please do not misconstrue my frustration with the lack of attention town council gave this matter last year with lack of compassion for the family of this boy, or lack of appreciation for those brave guards and EMS staff who did everything they could to save his life.

    Hopefully, we as a community can do everything possible to prevent another family from experiencing this type of tragic loss.

    Again, my apologies.

  26. 6:46 I agree. People drown in all types of water. Graydon needs to resume checking that the kids in the deep water have passed the test.

    A new policy is needed to carry them through to the end of the season.

  27. Please everyone, turn your anger and sorrow into prayers for this family.

    Having raised 5 children in this Village, and spent many sunny days at Graydon Pool with them, I feel parents must remember they are their own childrens’ guardian at a pool anywhere. While no parent can see everything every minute, attentiveness to one’s childrens’ whereabouts is a must. It does no good to go on and on about what ifs now. Let’s all be more careful each day with our most precious gifts.

  28. When people react by blaming, it’s only out of their own need to feel as though something like this couldn’t happen to them.

    It’s a desire to push away the powerlessness we all feel over this tragedy. It’s an understandable self-protective reaction.

    But the truth is that life is full of risk and loss. Sorry to be sounding philosophical (or worse, preachy). I don’t mean to do that.

    It’s just that I recognize this same impulse in myself too. The bottom line, though, is that it’s complicated, and unless the lifeguards were stoned or something (highly doutbtful) fingerpointing is inappropriate.

    Everyone in the situation deserves prayer and compassion. Those poor lifeguards. They need a ton of prayer that they can somehow cope with this and come to understand that they did their very best. Some things are simply beyond control of human beings.

    I’m a Graydon regular. I know it’s not as safe as a clear water pool, and I accept that. I also know that the staff is highly trained and professional. I continue to trust them.

  29. I agree with 9:06, by the way. There is a season for sorting through what happened, but this ain’t it.

    Right now is the time to show respect and compassion for everyone involved.

  30. I know this is crazy but if it saves lives… Is it possible to put a few underwater cameras (w/lights) in the deep end or is the visibility that poor that you’d need too many cameras?

    *Please don’t mock this post if you think this is a stupid idea, I’m only asking a question. I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child and I pray for the family and their loss.*

    I don’t swim there but I know there was a group of people in Ridgewood that were concerned about events like this and working on a solution. Does anyone know how there progress is going? I’ve seen posts complaining about people talking about how to prevent this and others bashing them calling it politics. I don’t understand why people whine about people trying to come together to make a safer pool. Why call this politics? I don’t think it is wrong to say to ourselves…”how can we prevent this from happening again?”
    To say that people drown at the beach or lakes is not an excuse. This is a town POOL!!! We have more control over it to create a safer environment.

  31. This is truly a tragic accident, but let’s not politicize this event for those who favor installing a concrete pool in our town.

    I grew up out of state swimming in lakes, bays and oceans. When you swim in these natural bodies of water, you must make sure that you take precautions such as sticking with a swim buddy…and parents must ALWAYS know where their children are.

    Accidents like this happen all over the country, and this does not mean that Graydon Pool is unsafe. It’s a grave reminder that there are precautions EVERYONE must take WHEREVER you swim.

  32. Yesterday was a very sad day. We were there and saw the family waiting for news, the lifeguards on duty (or not) working so hard, ems and firedepartment personel doing their best. However the outcome was not what we were all praying for. Our hearts are with the family and we hope they are recieving the support they need and deserve from the town. If there is anything, we as residents could do to help we def. will.
    Today we do not have all the facts, but we do know that the search was long (30 to 40 minutes)
    maybe in a clearwater pool the time woud have been shorter incresing the chances of a better outcome.

  33. Our prayers are with the boy & his family.

    Kudos to the emergency responders & the lifeguards too.

    Hopefully, something positive will come out of this terrible tragedy to make Graydon safer for all. FWIW, I like 11:25’s ideas above.

  34. Everyone can say what they will and place blame where they wish, but the fact that this child could not be found/seen under that water for a while(I was there)is a problem. The guards and EMS worked tirelessly and still could not find him easily. If the water was clear, don’t tell me it wouldn’t have been easier to find him much more quickly and possibly save him. They also said he was a “non-swimmer”. He shouldn’t have been in that water.

  35. My deepest sympathy to the family.
    For the town i just have one question,
    Why is the pool open today? I believe, out of respect, we could have waited at least one day.

  36. ‘but the fact that this child could not be found/seen under that water for a while(I was there)is a problem.”

    People swim at thousands of lakes and ocean beaches. People drown in clear and dark water. If we thought that swimming was an activity without risks we wouldn’t have guards.

  37. Graydon is not a lake or an ocean, it is a “pool” that services our town. I was sickened to see it open for business as usual today. If anyone knows of a service or fund that has been set up, please post it here.

  38. Lots of criticism as the why the pool was open today? And that deep end portion didn’t clear up over night. could have waited 2 or 3 days… don’t you think?

  39. My heart is breaking for the family. That being said, what is a “non-swimmer” doing being allowed to enter deep (murky) water. An unfortunate fact (which is a day late, literally, and a dollar short) is that we all need to take responsibility for ourselves and our children. End of (extremly sad) story.

  40. Clear Water won’t reduce drownings (however, it will reduce recovery time). If you want to reduce the drownings, then eliminate the deep water. Let’s take the whole pool down to 1 or 2 feet. Maybe instead, we can go to a sprinkler system like they have in the inner cities; that would be safer. In fact if you want to make everyone safe and eliminate the possibility of drowning, then let’s remove all of the water. And to be super safe, let’s not sell any liquid drinks and not allow anyone to bring any liquids into the pool area.

    There that should do it. Everyone will be happy with this solution.

    As you probably figured out by now, the folks pushing Clear Water as a “safety issue” here and now are actually just using this tragedy to advance their own agenda.
    That they would be so opportunistic just makes me sick.

    Just stop it and say a prayer for the family and loved ones of this child.

    Bring up your Clear Water vs. Lake Setting arguments at another more appropriate time.

  41. there seems to be mistakes here. it was not EMS divers in the water. it was trained and certified Ridgewood FD divers in the water. 2 Firemen in scuba gear and 4 firemen searching without scuba gear. The firemen searched for over 30 to 40 minutes before he was found. Everyone did thier best. FD,EMS,Paramedics doing CPR on the shore to when he was transported to valley. Everyone from the FD to the lifeguards should be praised for the effort that was put forth.

  42. WOW! After reading all of the comments, I would like to know how all of those who are using sarcasm and criticizing those who are pushing for “clear water” feel about Graydon being open today. I would hope that you, too, are outraged at the insensitivity for the grieving family as well as the guards who took part in this horrible tragedy. If you would like to really focus at the most timely and important issues, how about starting there rather than condemning those who are trying to be proactive for the future.

  43. “it is a “pool” that services our town”

    It is spring fed and that is why we have to limit the amount of chemicals used.

    I agree with 2:48 – To reduce all chances of accidents we can just close Graydon. Make it open space.

  44. the pool is open today because life goes on and because would it not cause a greater scene to drive by the pool and see it dead empty on a clear sunny day. keep in mind also that most of the gaurds and emergency personnel appreciate having a place to go during a time like this. most are experiencing a lot of grief and trouble with the issues and it’s better for all who were involved to be able to start picking up the pieces and moving on together as a team.

  45. There is certainly no reason to keep the pool closed for the next few days. as sad as this is, by closing the pool, it just makes it a very somber reminder of what happened. I would certainly not want to drive by and see an empty, and almost erie pool. Like any tragedy, we must never forget those whoe were involved whether it be the victim, family, emergency workers or lifeguards. However, we must pick ourselves up and move on as best as we can. By opening the pool today, it’s saying yes there was a terrible accident and they all did their best. Today is a new day. Let’s get back on those chairs, get back in the fire truck, get back in the ambulance and police cars and continue to serve as best as we know how!!!

  46. from what I seen was so manny people helped out in so manny ways half of you dont even know.I even seen a supervisor from the road dept helping out the fire,police,emts andthe lifegauds as much as he can.I dont know his name but all I can say is wow talking about given his all like the rest of the depts that helped they all did the best that they can.I talked to him when it was over he was very upset to talk.

  47. thats so true all the depts worked together its nice to see that.the life gaurds did the best that they can.we are all very sory for what happend.

  48. The people pushing clear water are people with children who swim at Graydon every day and who have watched many lost child drills day after day. We are afraid that another day, it will be our child who goes under, and despite watching and having immediate notice they will not be found and they will drown. In a clear pool the child would have been found almost immediately. Perhaps in time to be revived. This is the only public water recreation in town. It is used by hundreds of children each day. We should be able to see the bottom.

  49. First, I want to convey my deepest condolences to the family involved in this story. But what I really want to suggest is that we (and/or those managing the pool) come up with constructive solutions to the problem at hand. Someone mentioned the chaos at Graydon on hot sunny days. Maybe some kind of system of “time-outs” would help. When I was a kid at camp, the pool I was in was just like Graydon (murky pond). The guards collectively blew their whistles on a periodic basis (15-minute intervals?), and we all had to get out of the water, get with our respective buddies, and raise our hands in the air. It made us responsible for one another and gave us a moment to stop our activity and refocus. Kids get carried away. It’s a fact of life. We also had seahorse patches sewn to our swimsuits if we were certified to swim in the deep end. The suggestion about more stringent testing and checking for deep water badges (bracelets) is a helpful one. Let’s be constructive. Not destructive.

  50. all i can say is that all depts did the best that they could.very said

  51. and the workers at the pool you allways do yout best

  52. 8:08 – Your ideas sound great. Unfortunately, you do not understand the real intent of the clear water group members. They do not want to take responsibility for watching their children. They want the lifeguards to do it for them. I would have thought they would have had the decency to wait at least a week before pushing their agenda.

  53. 8:08 – you’re making the most sense of everyone here. Thanks for your constructive and useful comments. I think checking the buddy system is an excellent idea.

  54. 7:48 PM You have options. Join another pool or put in your own. The town is not responsible for developing the perfect summer experience for you.

    You are responsible for your children. There are a lot of lost child alerts because parents don’t watch and then turn to the guards when they can’t find them.

    Graydon would be nicer if people did not picnic in/close to the water. The ducks hang out because of all the food and garbage that people leave.

  55. 6:52am…The “you are responsible for your own children” argument is absolutely absurd. You are placing the blame on the parents and relatives of this child. There are instances where someone may lose sight of a child for a few seconds. If a child hit his head, has a seizure or something else and goes under…that’s it. He’s lost. It’s almost impossible to find him. This child was 14. Do you expect him to be watched 100% by his parent? But your comments are deplorable. You must have not witnessed these scary drills to find children. Everyone said, it’s only a matter of time. Something needs to be done.
    Please don’t blame the lifeguards, parents, FD, etc. Work constructively to prevent this from happening again.

  56. Has anyone on this blog been the the Paramus pool? Chemicals on the lawn aside(this is not the issue at hand), the folks in paramus have a wonderful large clear water pool ..where they have diving boards…but the deep end is smaller and very well contolled and monitored. They also have hourly adult swim times. I know many families(at least a dozen that I know persoanlly) that have left graydon for paramus for these reasons. This is a tragedy…and deepest sympathies go out to the family, but we should learn from this….and move forward with the right perspective…

  57. That child would be ALIVE today if the water was clear. He would have been found immediately and revived. I understand those that covet their “tranquil park-like setting”, but we need a SAFE summer recreational facility for our children. This event is beyond tragic…

  58. 8:22 is right. This tragedy demonstrates that Ridgewood, for all its equipment, training, people, money, and other resources, can’t do what it takes to cope with a murky deep end, in terms of approaching the overall safety of a clear pool of a similar depth.

    The instant this child slipped beneath the surface of the Graydon Pool deep end and, helpless, began sinking toward the bottom, he entered a place from which it was beyond the capacity of anyone in the world at that moment to save him.

    I believe this to be true, and ask anyone with the ability to refute it to show me why I am wrong.

    Of course, if it is true now, it was true last week, last year, and last century. Which raises the question of whether those who are accountable for the state of safety at Graydon Pool safety stopped short of carrying out the full extent of their responsibilities.

    At least one, and better, two, and preferably, nearly all, or all of the lifeguards on staff needed to be SCUBA trained, equipped, and ready to begin a search of the murky bottom of the deep end once it became clear that a child was missing in that part of the pool. This is the only circumstance I can think of that might have given this child a chance to survive.

  59. Our of respect for those who have called for a clear bottom pool in the past and present, I cannot agree with those who don’t want the issue brought up at this time. I realize that some might see it as insensitive to the family, but then again, if it was my child, I would be upset that this happened but perhaps a bit relieved (if at all possible) to see that it sparked such interest in making sure it never happened to someone again. I hate the term “politicizing,” as though it is being brought up to push someone further in politics. Rather, it is being brought up out of a concern that parents have for the safety of their children. If that is politicizing, then I think it is ok in this situation. As a parent who has concerns about the safety of Graydon, I am relieved to see people jumping into the dialogue regarding how we can prevent this from ever happening again, and at the same time bring back all of the people who have left Graydon in recent years in search of a better alternative.

  60. Have any one read today’s newspaper (The Record)? It brings tears to our eyes. We will like to help the family…
    Our prayers are with them, the lifeguards, and all of the Ridgewood personnel including volunteer parents that help

  61. I knew that this tragic event would start a firestorm from the proponents of the clearwater/concrete pool.

    There were so many circumstances surronding this horrible event, that resulted in its fatal result, The boy yelled for help in Korean, which no one understood. His six year old sister swam out of the pool to alert her parents, wasting valuable time (not her fault, she is only six). His 12 year old companion, jumped in to try to save him, instead of alerting the lifegard, again, wasting valuable time, He was not a deep water swimmer, yet he was swimming in the deep end. I was there and heard the interpreter translate the mother saying “He does not know how to swim”

    Would having a clearwater pool help find this child at the bottom of the pool quicker, absolutely. Would it change the outcome, based on so much wasted time in alerting the guards?(it sounds like I’m blaming his young companions, I’m not. They are just children, and they were panicking)

    The fact is he was not a deep water swimmer, swimming in the deep water. A better system, needs to be in place to monitor who should or shouldn’t be there. Identification necklaces should be worn by all patrons who pass the deep water test, so the lifeguards can more easily identify who should or shouldn’t be there. Also, day patrons shoud be given instructions when they receive their day pass about the deep water swimming requirements

    I have two children and swim at Graydon daily. I was recently sitting on the 12 ft side. when a group of women. wearing day braclets, set up camp next to me. Their children, ranging in age from about 2-8, all jumped in the pool. The lifeguard told the mothers that the little ones were not allowed in the water and the 8 year olds needed to take the deep water test. One mother said, “What deep water test,” The boys then took the test and failed. The angry mothers returned saying, “I guess you have to be an olympic swimmer to swim in the deep end at Graydon.” They packed up their gear and angrily moved to the shallow end.

    My daughter took and failed the deep water test 2 yrs ago. She was upset with the lifeguard, saying he was too hard on her. I was grateful that they have high expectaions. We stayed in the shallow end that summer and worked on improving her swimming ability.

  62. 10:00 – Don’t waste your time on the clear water proponents since logic has no impact on them. They do not want to take responsbility for themselves or their families and nothing you say will change that.

  63. 10:00AM.

    You nailed it.

  64. Yes, there are still others that can’t see the bottom of things. Sand bottom pools can’t be clear to 12 feet depth and even four foot depths. Divers and swimmers constantly stire up the sand bottom … The Clear Water supporters seek to improve the pool not cloud up the issue.

  65. To 10:29…with all due respect…I am a clear water proponent….I do not let either of my children (who both can swim)
    enter the water without me being there…and watch them every moment. Life guards are good and do a job…but nothing beats doing it yourself.
    The reality is Graydon is an open cesspool…and we stopped going there years ago because of the water. I do care and take responsibility for my family which is exactly why I want a clear water pool. Your ignorance is amazing.

  66. 8:22 your frusturation is understandable. Simply by captializing the word “alive”. However, you are wrong. To say that the boy would be alive today is a false statement. First of all, CPR is not a guarantee. Your not always gonna save someone with it. Second of all, clear or unclear water, the fact is he went under, and stayed under for a period of time for which his small body couldn’t handle. As sad as it is….no matter wht the color of the water, it still would have been a recovery and not a rescue. Too much time had gone by between when he went under and when someone was notified. I applaud the efforts of everyone involved. We know you did your best!!!!

  67. I have read all the comments and find that those who advocate for a clear water pool should go somewhere else to swim.

    How many people have drowned in Graydon since it was given to the town? Does any one know?

    How many people have drown in their showers or tubs in Ridgewood since Graydon opened to the public?

    How many people have been killed in car accidents in Ridgewood since Graydon opened to the public.

    How many people have been hit by a train in Ridgewood since Graydon opened?

    Are you all getting the point yet?

    Tragic things happen all the time and people die as a result, no matter how careful we may be.

    While no one wishes this upon any one, it is part of life and life must go on. We can not protect all of us, all the time, from making mistakes.

    This teenage boy made a very unfortunate mistake and paid for it with his life.

    That doesn’t mean we should drain the pool and fill it with concrete so that we can see the bottom.

    What it means is that nature is very dangerous no matter how much we think we may have tamed her.

    May God take this boy’s soul to his side.

  68. 11:33 – Graydon is an open cesspool? Your ignorance and arrogance are amazing and your absence from Graydon is appreciated.

  69. 11:33, hope you enjoy swimming in that cesspool; those who know better and care most about their children don’t…and by the way, that is why membership at graydon has been declining steadily over the past 10 years.

  70. 11:34, I have found information that indicates that CPR has a good likelihood of success if a victim is pulled from the water within three minutes. Surprisingly, fifteen to twenty minutes underwater does not necessarily doom a drowning victim.

    So, taking away the initial time it took for the lifeguards to be made aware where the boy went down, how long did it take from that point before the boy was pulled from the water?

    Now take away the complication introduced by the murkiness of the water in the Graydon deep end. How long would it have taken to pull the boy from the water if the lifeguards could have spotted him from the surface?

  71. 11:33 – i (and my children) swim at graydon nearly every day. it is not a cesspool. it is a spring fed lake with chlorine added. this year, the water has actually been very clean. and on some days, i have actually been able to see the bottom from the 12 foot raft. i have noted a definite improvement this year in the water quality and the total lack of canadian geese also. if graydon went to a pool, i would most likely join indian trails so i could continue to swim in a lake. i wonder why there seems to be an assumption by pool proponents that pools are somehow automatically a better experience than a lake.

    accidents happen where the is nobody to blame. the need to always find blame no matter what is what distresses me the most.

    some of the ideas presented here with bracelets and visitors being clearly shown the deep water test rules would be helpful (but would not be a guarantee for a risk free experience). there is no such thing.

  72. I have lived in Ridgewood for 36 years. I do swim in Graydon, but very carefully, not in the deep end, and I am an experienced swimmer. I have never felt that Graydon is a safe “pool” like concrete pools. I believe a town swimming pool should be as safe , clear, as possible. I support the clear water project. I was dismayed when last year, I saw on channel 77, the clear water proponents being dismissed by the mayor and council, And criticized for the name “clear water” because members of the council said “clear water has a negative connotation.”

    Daily Reader

  73. 11:33
    Couldn’t agree with you more

  74. 1:01 – Thank you. We enjoy Graydon immensely and your sincerity is overwhelming. You and your pretentious comrades are the ones who have given Ridgewood a bad name over the years. I hope you have success in finding a town with a clear bottom pool. I could suggest a realtor if you like.

  75. “That doesn’t mean we should drain the pool and fill it with concrete so that we can see the bottom”

    Why not?

    Why is Graydon staying old fashioned while everything else gets updated? The Hospital, the math program, the high tech cameras on the street, but not Graydon. Why are people so sensitive about doing what Glen Rock did and getting a nice, updated clearwater pool?

  76. graydon needs to get real life gaurds not phony ones that sit there and get paid to jerf off in the high seat. this boy could have been saved if life gaurds were doing there damn job. dont blame the kid for not knowing how to swim when its the lifegaurds JOB to protect and make sure that they are safe. maybe they should have checked if the kid passed the deep water test. we cant have kids wathicng kids, expecialy after this horrific accident that could have been prevented if “life guards” were doing their “job” its embarrassing to this town that we have life gaurds that cant wait to go to graydon as a life gaurd to jerk off in the high seat. get adult super vision. so this will never happen again. its ridiculous how during a beautiful summer day a boy whose visiting his family and friends has to be taken out of this world just because life gaurds decided to let that day be another day, not wathcing every kid as they should. how did these phony life gaurds get hired. they should have dogs be wathcing the pool with binoculars after this. graydon pool hire, h i r e real life gaurds that will finish and DO their “job.”

  77. Was there really a 6 year old in the pool with her 14 year old non swimming brother? I have never seen a 6 year old in the deep end. Who would allow that? When my children were in grade school the guards would never even test a child that young.

    The problem is that people have been swimming in the deep water without being tested as required. Whatever system they used to have to identify the swimmers is no longer in place.

    The problem is not the dark water. The problem is establishing and enforcing rules to keep non swimmers out of the deep end.

    As a parent, I always watched my almost swimmers and borderline swimmers when they were young. On a hot and crowded day it is not reasonable to turn all these unsupervised kids loose on the staff at Graydon.

  78. The main problem was that a non swimmer was in the deep water. The murky water was not to blame. When you see a high dive you know that the water will be deep. If my child could not swim, I would not let him in water that was above his shoulders.

    I find it hard to believe that a 6 year old was in the deep water with him. This story is not accurate.

  79. OK 1:53…I appreciate the input…I have not swam at graydon for the past few years…so it may now be cleaner then the last time I was there 6 years ago. But the fact remains that geese and children that are not potty trained swim in that water every day. The water quality may have improved this year….but I still choose not to swim with feces….
    by the way…will not be a problem finding a town with a clear water pool….most(not all) of the town around us have them…and they are quite inviting when you see them….

  80. 1:01 and 2:32

    Graydon is not a cesspool. It is chlorinated and tested. Do you think concrete pools do not contain disease. Did you know that some bacteria are immune to chlorine? Diseases are transmitted in concrete pools as well.To answer your question Why has Graydon’s membership declined over the past ten years?” The answer: Graydon hasn’t changed, but it’s clientle has.To a “Purell” crazed society.

    Maybe if you exposed your child to a microbe or two, they would have healthier immune systems and not be so suseptible to illness and allergies. My childern swim in Graydon, daily since the were infants, and have never gotten sick.

    You have every right to your preference of the type of pool your are comfortable with. Why do you think you have the right to make the town create a pool to meet your personal needs. This is the type of pool that exists here and did exist here when you decided to move to Ridgewood. There are plenty of towns around
    herewith the type of pool you desire. Go there and leave Graydon alone.

  81. Get your own clearwater pool and invite your neighbors over. But don’t forget to watch the kids.

  82. Accidents happen. It is shameful to use this as a reason to build your dream pool.
    I don’t know how many Paramus or Midland Park people join. Maybe we should restrict the number of outside members. Let the numbers drop to a manageable level.

  83. MONEY magazine rated Ridgewood NJ as a top earning town. (#15 in USA), but the Village still can’t afford a clear bottom pool.)

  84. Please check the records website
    and read what our Village manager had said.

  85. Prior to the drowning, the reason people were pushing clear water was hygene, not search and rescue. These ‘I told you so’ comments are a great example of revisionist history.

    Let’s not pretend that hard bottom pools are without risks. I know someone who dove into the shallow end of a hard bottom pool and became paralyzed. This is not as easy to do at Graydon because the entry points are gradually sloped and there is a softer, sand bottom.

    If Graydon is converted to a hard bottom pool and someone dives into the shallow end and becomes a vegetable, what will the clear water proponents have to say then?

  86. To insinuate that the rationale behind a clear water pool is to relieve one of one’s parental responsibility is beyond insulting. How dare any one make a comment like that. Tuesday’s event, although rare, is justification that clear bottom pools are safer.

  87. Well that is a huge assumption that cameras and TERC are an improvement.

    You are a big Jerk.

  88. all i can say it is cleaner this year then last year.so if you dont like it go paramus or seaside hights with you know what.or go to harowos pool center

  89. My prayers are with this family.

    Does anyone know of a fundraiser that might be in the works for the this family?

    Not that money would at all ease their pain but I am not sure what else we can do besides pray for them.

  90. I love Graydon. I don’t even live there anymore, and I’m not a parent yet, but I value my memories of summer days at Graydon more than anything. I was a small child the last time this happened, and yes, it’s really sad. I don’t even live in NJ and it makes me sad. But the thought of a clearwater pool – and of Graydon not existing anymore – makes me sadder.


  92. Having read the other 75 comments (2 are mine). I think that this tragic event was due to multiple factors. Language issues, the time to raise the alarm, the murky water, the fact a non-swimmer was in the deep water, the families lack of familiarity with the nature of the pool. All of these need to be studied and addressed. One thing that nobody can fault was the dedicated professional response by the guards and other emergency services and others at the scene. My children were swimming at Graydon today and I thank the life guards for their vigilance. My older child (9) will learn to swim out of her depth at the Wycoff WMCA and then return to Graydon to take the deep water test.

  93. Let’s make it really safe – Graydon Field.

    I agree that the clearwater people have changed their arguments from hygene to safety. Opportunists. Join Paramus pool.

  94. It took 40 mnutes, 40 long minutes…Wouldn’t you think having clear water would have made rescue easier???????????

  95. Who are you supporters of leaving Graydon “as is”??? I know so many people thru school, extra-curricular activities, Dads’ Night, etc, and have yet to meet ONE that doesn’t want a clear pool. Those of you that want to leave it alone must be either elderly or a village council member.

  96. 10:45 – I moved here a few years ago with several young children and we love Graydon. I grew up swimming in lakes and the ocean. I do not understand why people move here knowing there is no municipal cement pool and expect the town to build one. Who are these people who insist on a sterile cement bottom pool once they move here? Are they from the city and have never swam in a different environment? Change is not always better but is not something to fear or revile.

  97. Maybe Mr. Bolger’s camera donation could be some sort of underwater camera or sensor. I’m serious. Maybe there is a way to monitor the bottom in the deep end.

  98. “Those of you that want to leave it alone must be either elderly or a village council member.”

    No, I am neither…and there are many of us. Perhaps those who prefer to leave it as is are afraid to speak up face-to-face because they find clear water pool proponents a bit overbearing…

    There is no right or wrong to this issue….it is preference. Cement pools have many more injuries such as slip and falls, head injuries, etc. Many of us prefer the park-like setting with sand, grass and trees. My children never get sick from swimming there. Yes, we realize the water is harder to see through, and that creates some issues, but we just make sure to keep a very close eye on our children. To expect a handful of lifeguards to watch each of hundreds of swimmers is ridiculous.

    I would support ways of making the water clearer but not if it means having a cement pool. And I definitely think the deep water testing/access procedures should be re-visited.

    My heart goes out to the family of this child, but it was an accident that cannot be blamed on any one factor.

  99. “crates some issues” Yeah, like drowning. Good point, my friend.

  100. Most missing child alerts at Graydon are just kids who wander off. If someone tells a staff member that a friend (14 years old!) went under in the deep end they should be able to move into high gear immediately. Skip the PA announcement and playground/bathroom search. Go directly to the last place that the kid was spotted. Don’t walk into the pool with the human chain if the kid was out in the middle. Begin searching in the place where he was last seen.

  101. 4:48 I understand your dilemma. I also find the clearwater proponents overbearing. I am a young mother with two young children (12 and 9) and have been going to Graydon since they were infants. They too have never gotten sick. I also made sure they passed the deep water test before they entered the deep end and I know where there are at all times.

    The “point is my friend” 5:43, the murky water did not contribute to this boy’s rescue, only his recovery. If his friend notified the guard, who was sitting 5 ft from him, the minute he heard his friend say in Korean he couldn’t breathe. Instead of diving into the water and try to save him himself,then swim back to the dock when he couldn’t find him, then run halfway around the pool to finally get help, he would still be alive today.

  102. “crates some issues” Yeah, like drowning.”

    Now, we all know that the color of the water did not cause the drowning, so your statement is inaccurate.

    I just heard on this evening’s news that a teenager drowned in a clear water cement pool in central Jersey.
    It happens.

  103. “Those of you that want to leave it alone must be either elderly or a village council member”

    You aren’t going to win over and residents with logic like that.

  104. I use to live in Cranford, NJ, where there were two town pools at two different locations. Why can’t another location be found for a cement bottom pool to be built and continue to also have Graydon pool. This way people have a choice to swim in the enviornment the prefer. I feel like the Clearwater proponents are acting like school yard bullies: My way, my way, my way! Many people, young and old alike, love Graydon. Why doesn’t the Clearwater committee put their energy into getting the town to build them the pool they desire at a different location. This way everyone is happy.

    Even if the DEP would allow Graydon to be torn down and flattened to create a new pool complex (which I doubt, since Graydon is in a flood plain and is grandfathered to be there, any new construction would not be allowed). It would take years and years for a project of such magnitude to be completed. Most of the children using the pool now, would be headed off to college by the time the new pool was ready (Anyone who has done home remodeling knows, projects have puppies, with unforseen setbacks that delay completion. A project like this would have liters and liters of puppies)

    As I can see my reading these blogs, there are just as many people who love Graydon as there are people who hate it. Let’s see if we can make everone happy.

  105. 3:37, i agree we should have german sheppards and golden retreivers watch our kids from now on.
    looks like these “life gaurds” dont give a damn about our kids and others lives.

  106. maybe we can make it a parking lot or low imcome houseing.thats what some sick people would love.yes make it safe is # 1.

  107. Someone had mentioned at Crestwood there is a guard in the middle of the pool in a boat. That would be perfect for Graydon. That guard would have visibility of the entire deep end, plus be able to see if someone goes under the ropes. Hopefully all safety procedures are carefully scrutinized and re-evaluated.

  108. 3:37 and 3:02. You make me sick. The guards train every single day and are much better lifegaurds than any clear water fakes. Not to mention the guards at Graydon were not even given the chance to save this kid, judging from the circumstances and miscommunication and false reporting in the first place. The guards have been through three rounds of counseling this week and many are wrecked over this incident. I bet you’ve never done anything half as brave. Show some respect, get over yourself, and please never come to Graydon pool again. Thanks

  109. “It took 40 mnutes, 40 long minutes…Wouldn’t you think having clear water would have made rescue easier”

    Too bad that someone other than his sister and two friends did not see him struggling.

    Diving should have begun immediately in the area that he was last seen.

  110. close it. fill it in.we need another soccer field for biff and buffy

  111. “judging from the circumstances and miscommunication and false reporting in the first place” Lets get to the root of the problem. There were many missteps in the rescue/recovery. In our efforts to not blame anyone some chose to blame the water. There were people here who could have done better.

  112. “the guards at Graydon were not even given the chance to save this kid”

    The guard in the chair missed his/her chance.

  113. Look, the fact of the matter is that many of you don’t even know the incident and weren’t even involved. If you hate it that much, then please don’t return to graydon or bother talking about it, it’s a waste of time. If you have no support for those involved, then don’t say anything at all. Seriously the guards in the chair at the time have their own personal guilt over the situation and DO NOT any Ridgewood parents making it even worse for them. This was a tragic ACCIDENT. Had there been 10-15 kids at the pool that day, perhaps the kid would have been seen…but have you ever seen how crowded the deep end gets on a busy day? and no one is to point fingers, but by the time the boy was reported missing, 5 minutes had passed, in other words, he was brain dead….in other words NO CHANCE TO BE SAVED. That area of water was the first to be checked. If you haven’t guessed yet I was a responder on the scene and am aware of EXACTLY what went down. I would truly appreciate it if everyone could stop butting their noses into things they will never understand, like our procedures and our jobs. I don’t tell you how to do your job, but if I did I would tell you to start paying attention to your kids at the pool. I care a whole lot about my job and love every second of it. I also know that everyone who worked on the scene that day feels the same and is completely devastated over the ACCIDENT that cost this boy his life. Perhaps the sponsor family should have informed the boy of the deep water test? Perhaps the other boy, who spoke English, could have turned right around and told the lifeguard 2 feet from him when his friend was in distress rather than run around TWO other lifeguard stands until reporting the child missing. No one is to blame in this situation but it would also be appreciated by so many who worked hard in that rescue on Tuesday if this discussion about their “incompetency” could cease. Support is needed for all involved and it really alienates one from their village when their entire community is turning against them in one of the hardest times of their lives. Some of these kids are 17 and 18 years old. Did you pull a dead body out of the water at that age? I ask you please to show some respect and support for your fellow Ridgewood citizens. Thanks

  114. 2:07, Have you ever sat up in a lifeguard chair and tried to watch dozens of kids, doing stupid things, and managed to keep track of every single one of them at the same time? I thought not. I’m not making excuses for whomever was in that chair, but if that child’s friend had just turned around, and said something, that child would still be alive.

    To anyone saying that it’s easy to understand a distress call no matter what the language, you are an idiot. Kids scream all the time at that pool, and the noise level is absurd at time. How is someone suppossed to know what “I can’t breathe” in Korean means in English. Korean doesn’t use the Roman alphabet, so it has no correlation to English whatsoever. The kid could have been yelling, come to me know for all the guard knew.

    To 3:37, you make me sick. Not only what you write, but the sub kindergarten level in which you write in. Since you are such a responsible adult, why don’t you train to become a lifeguard, and get a job at graydon. Some of you people are so dumb you make me want to vomit.

  115. 8:44 Exactly!

    I am there everyday with my two kids, who are deep water swimmers. I support what you do everyday. It is hard enough for me to watch my “2” kids and keep track of them. I can’t imagine what it is like to watch 500.

  116. When the incident is reviewed by pool staff and outside agencies recommendations will be made. The same thing happens after fatal car accidents.

    They may recommend more guards, signs or a better system to identify non swimmers. Things can be done to try to prevent this from happening again. We need to learn from this.

  117. It is only natural for the town to review the procedures that were in place the day of the drowning. They need to know what went wrong before they can ensure that it won’t happen again. This is not exactly pointing fingers but they are going to look at more than the “dark” water as a contributing factor in the accident. We can’t go back to the way things were.

  118. 8:21 – How can there be 500 kids to watch? I thought nobody goes to Graydon anymore because the water is not purified. At least that is what the Clearwater folks keep screaming.

  119. Even on a hot day the deep end does not have even 100 kids to watch. The crowds are in the shallow end.

  120. No single guard is responsible for 500 swimmers. 500 people eating/swimming/sunbathing would be a big day at Graydon. They would have to invite the press to record it for history.

  121. In Ridgewood New Jersey you are on your own buddy-that’s the attitude.

    My children learned to swim at Graydon and the Y. NEVER did they go to Graydon without me and NEVER did I take my eyes off them. They also were well aware of the pool rules as we took responsibility for their welfare as their parents. It was a big day for them when the Graydon lifeguards gave them their deep water test—most of the kids could do it by 2nd grade latest.That test is a rite of passage.

    It is Very unusual in Ridgewood for a kid that age to be a non-swimmer and be relegated to the shallow end where there are mostly toddlers.The victim clearly wanted to be where the action was and took it upon himself to go there…..a very stupid mistake, a rash error, and possibly a defiant act of breaking the rules.

    Welcome to Ridgewood folks and brace yourself for the rest of the behaviors you will experience. Its a great place to live if you can swim but NOT if you sink…..

    Kids coming from other places are almost retarded compared to Northern NJ kids who are expected to grow up fast. Maturity is seen as a form of accomplishment in this value system; Ridgewood kids are trained to have skills like diving and swim racing to squelch the competition. By 15 they are learning lifesaving at the Y.And No they are Not responsible for saving your kids from their own stupidity if it means a risk to themselves. They are well trained to follow procedures—I have witnessed that MANY times—-they have a perfect right to protect themselves from some idiot kid who might drag them under.

    There is NO DEFENSE for the lack of parental attention in this case.Who has a 14 year old or even 12 year old without swimming ability? It is your responsibility folks to get them lessons and straighten their teeth and make sure they know how to survive in the woods…and so on.

    The parents were at fault and they are the ones who should be sued for the large amount of resources it took to drag the body out and the trauma the community suffered from their negligence.They are a great example of people who should never move to Ridgewood New Jersey because they are clearly not up to the sociopath winner community that cannot admit its pathologies but which is perfect training ground for the corporate jungle.If your kid survives.Some do not.

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