Police report shows missed chances in Wild Waves drowning
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- Police are sharing disturbing new details about how lifeguards handled a drowning at Wild Waves this weekend.
Federal Way police found no criminal wrongdoing, but the investigation reveals that lifeguards only discovered the body by accident. It's a concern raised by witnesses.
“I think they had so many people around the lifeguards were overwhelmed, and they weren't paying attention like they should be, and then all of a sudden this happens,” said Ryan Silvera, who was at Wild Waves during the rescue attempt.
The man who died was Vijayarengan Srinivasan. A friend of the victim said the 32-year-old just arrived in the U.S. this month, and was working at Infosys as a programmer to support a wife and three-year-old child in India.
That friend told police the victim was not a strong swimmer, and may have "went on the water slide not knowing the water depth."
Wild Waves released a statement, saying “our entire team is greatly saddened by this loss and we are working to fully understand the circumstances around this tragic accident."
The statement went on to say "we take safety extremely seriously and have made our entire team available to investigators."
That team includes lifeguards, who park-goers criticized as less than prepared.
“It took them so long,” said witness Al Henderson. “No urgency it seemed at that point."
The police report shows a lifeguard originally jumped in to retrieve prescription glasses, and only then "discovered an Indian male laying (sic) face up on the bottom of the pool."
Prior to that, a lifeguard thought "she saw a blob, but when she jumped in, she could not locate it."
A third lifeguard said some children came up to report a body, but the lifeguard thought "they were pranking him," so he told them "it was paint scrapes on the bottom."