Montreal teen in critical condition after being found in pool
MONTREAL – A 13-year-old Montreal boy remained in critical condition Friday after being found at the bottom of a swimming pool following a high school gym class this week.No one noticed the Grade 8 student’s absence when his class left the pool deck Thursday and it was the next group that found him.A school board official said both a teacher and a lifeguard were present along with between 20 and 30 of the boy’s classmates.Alain Perron, a spokesman for the Commission scolaire de Montreal, said a psychological team that was sent to Pere-Marquette high school Thursday to meet with students and staff remained in place Friday.“We’re very worried about the student but we haven’t heard anything further,” Perron said. “We’re waiting for word from the family or the hospital.”First responders said the boy was in cardio-respiratory arrest when they arrived and that they managed to reanimate him before transporting him to hospital.The lifeguard was also sent to hospital to be treated for shock.The local borough said the city-run pool, which is located next to the school, would remain closed indefinitely.Police said there was no criminal investigation.But the director of programs at the Quebec branch of the Lifesaving Society says a deeper look into what happened is likely.Francois Lepine said such a probe would look at the pool, the equipment and the lighting in the facility as well as the child’s medical record.“There are numerous factors to look at and, only then, we might have an idea (of the sequence of events),” Lepine said.He said the typical ratio of instructors for 30 or fewer students appears to have been respected as both the teacher and lifeguard were present.Provincial requirements stipulate a teacher with a physical education degree needs 90 hours of teaching aquatic courses, including 16 hours of life-saving courses.Lepine said with those requirements, they can teach up to 30 or fewer students without any assistance. Without those criteria, they need a lifeguard to assist them during the class from the pool deck.While the circumstances of Thursday’s incident remain unclear, evaluating the comfort level of students in the pool is normal practice for anyone teaching kids in a pool.“Usually when we train instructors, we (tell them they) need to evaluate at the first class the skills of the kids who are participating,” said Lepine.“It’s the same when you teach a swim class. You need to know the competency of all the participants in the class, to readjust your teaching.”Swimming is a very important skill, so Lepine said they hope as many kids learn. He adds the incident in an indoor facility is rare.“Just one drowning is one too much, but it’s less than one per cent in aquatic facilities,” he said.