Boy At Fall River Pool Says He Told Lifeguard ‘Someone Is Drowning’

By Alana Gomez, WBZ-TV

FALL RIVER (CBS) – When 36-year-old Marie Joseph went into the water Sunday at Veterans Memorial pool her young neighbor says he tried to speak up.

“My grandson says he went down to the slide. Marie came down behind him,” said his grandmother Laverne Hunt. “He was stuck a little bit but he got out and he went to the lifeguard and said someone is drowning, and they didn’t do anything.”

Joseph drowned in the public pool in Fall River Sunday. Her body remained unnoticed at the bottom of the pool until Tuesday.

Hunt says her 9-year-old grandson is devastated he couldn’t do more to save Joseph.

“He’s going to have some problems. He’s crying all the time.”

Hunt said her grandson has trouble sleeping and his mother took him to see a counselor Saturday afternoon.

“Why should my grandson have to suffer if someone else was negligent. That’s not right. He went and did what he was supposed to do.”

WBZ-TV’s Alana Gomez reports

The entire pool staff is on leave, along with two city inspectors who checked the pool Monday and Tuesday.

Joseph’s friends say they’re most upset with the lifeguards, who allegedly heard that someone went under.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mark Katic reports

“She probably wouldn’t have died if they had been doing her job,” said Veronica Reis, a neighbor and friend of Joseph’s.

On Saturday, the pool remained closed with an Environmental Police officer guarding the entrance.

A makeshift memorial with balloons, candles, and cards decorated the gate outside.

  • Pam Henderson

    The more info that comes out about this story, the more bizarre it sounds. Lifeguards not responding, her items left at the pool.. none of the people that she went to the pool with thought it was odd they didn’t see her OR leave with her?? It’s sad.

  • Willow

    It doean’t make sense that the boy didn’t go home and tell his mother what happened. The woman was in the pool 2 days and the 9 year old didn’t say anything when he got home? Something just doesn’t add up.

    • Brian

      I agree. I feel like there is much more to this story. None of it makes any sense. There are so many questions unanswered. As you stated, why didn’t the boy go home and tell them what happened? How did no one else at the pool that day notice she was missing? Why didn’t her family/boyfriend report her missing after 2 days? Why would a lifeguard hear the word ‘drowning’ and just sit there? How did the 9 year old boy get home that day?
      a 9 year old is old enough to start screaming that this woman was drowning and at the bottom of the pool. As i understand, the pool was very busy that day. How come he was unable to get any help?

  • LP

    It doesn’t make sense that there were lifeguards that didn’t pay attention to the pool and someone drown while they were paid a very decent wage.

  • emom

    Pool cloudy and can not see beyond 4 feet, boy says someone is drowning, belongings left behind, and nobody cared enough to look for her.. anyone that was with her should have said something when leaving especially nif they saw her stuff. after all this and the many times we hear of a drowning in these pools , maybe they should install video camera’s that way they can monitor them while in the pool.. OH WAIT that cost money and there will bw nobody to watch the videos,,,,, and they will forget to turn the thing on. NEVER MIND. fire everyone there …. hold them all accountable…. not one person did a check to see if there was anyone in the pool …. that still bothers me.

  • Italo

    Sorry if I missed it, but one aspect of the alleged sequence of events of this story that I thought I hadn’t seen discussed here yet, is if the woman did drown, did the autopsy point out or mention yet how it is believed that this drowning came about? For example, did the woman go into cardiac arrest on the slide or once she hit the water? Did she bump her head in/on the slide or else on the side or on the bottom of the pool? Did she know how to swim? I know the autopsies can tell a lot, so perhaps this more detailed information will eventually come out and help to connect more dots in this puzzling story. This young woman, and her family and friends, are in my thoughts right now, too.

  • Becky

    I’m not an expert by any means… however, the pool was cloudy and a nine year old reported the drowning to the lifegaurds. I have a daughter the same age… people do not always take what a young child has to say seriously- and if there was no splashing and nothing visible.. the lifegaurd probably figured nothing was wrong. It’s so sad for this woman… and like a previous comment said- the autopsy should shed more light onto the cause of death.

  • leeann

    the lady that died in fallriver public pool shouldn’t of died in the first place the littele boy that told a life gared that the lady was drowning y didnt the life grd get up and do his job theres is no exscuse and no reason why he didnt do his job in the first place sunday night, monday and tusday night no body seen it and who was the person that found her clothes and didnt go look for her in the first place the little boy told his grandmother why didnt she go to the police her self sense noone gave a dam about her and now the little b oy is having nightmares because of an adults stupidity if the pool is kindy foggy ofr cloudy why would any parent let there kid go swiminng or them self to swim in something that u cant even see enought what is more important than a child sayimg someone is drowning in the pool m

    • whatisthis

      Unless you type like a normal person, don’t ever torture us with that drivel ever again.

  • D Caf

    I don’t believe for a second that this kid told not only one but TWO lifeguards. The group he was with ignored him, too (even tho she was left without her belongings)?? His family ignored him when he got home & told them?? When the body surfaced and the police questioned him, more than likely he made it up on the fly thinking he would somehow be in trouble.

    It’s not a 9 year old’s fault, but there’s no need to make a bad situation worse!

    • Cynic

      I am so glad someone else finally said this…I have been thinking all along that the kid panicked and lied about telling someone. Or that his family panicked and told him to lie.
      Also, even if they had checked, the disgusting cloudy water would not have allowed them to see her at the bottom !!
      My pool is 9 feet deep and I would never let my kids swim in it if I couldn’t see to the bottom!

  • john richards

    If it were a white woman, it would have been different.

    Remember the story in Philadelphia:

    More than 60 campers from Northeast Philadelphia were turned away from a private swim club and left to wonder if their race was the reason.

    “I heard this lady, she was like, ‘Uh, what are all these black kids doing here?’ She’s like, ‘I’m scared they might do something to my child,’” said camper Dymire Baylor.

    The Creative Steps Day Camp paid more than $1900 to The Valley Swim Club. The Valley Swim Club is a private club that advertises open membership. But the campers’ first visit to the pool suggested otherwise.

    “When the minority children got in the pool all of the Caucasian children immediately exited the pool,” Horace Gibson, parent of a day camp child, wrote in an email. “The pool attendants came and told the black children that they did not allow minorities in the club and needed the children to leave immediately.”

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