Friday, November 02, 2012

NBAC Swimmer slips into a coma during workout and later passes - No word yet from Bob Bowman or Michael Phelps! - Why?

[UPDATE - Michael Phelps is NOT a co-owner of the North Baltimore Aquatics Club nor the Meadowbrook Pool.]

On October 24th something terrible happened to Louis Lowenthal during a Sunday morning workout at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club (NBAC). According to The Baltimore Sun, "Details surrounding the Sunday morning incident are scarce." There was no witness statements included in the Baltimore Sun article save for that when paramedics arrived he was receiving CPR from lifeguards. Once transported to the hospital he slipped into a coma and later died.

Louis was well liked. He was good in school and even won an essay contest regarding his love for the sport of swimming. The principal even stated that he was a great writer. He was kind to others, excelled at science and apparently was a real asset to his family and the community. I feel terrible for the family and I know that their grief will never be comprehended by anyone who has not gone through something this painful. In fact, this sort of grief is so bottomless that they don't even have an English word for it. Example: when a spouse dies they call the surviving member a widow. When a child dies there is no word for the parents.

This happened Sunday and the media is reporting it both yesterday and today; (I only saw it today), but why aren't the NBAC owner owners, Michael Phelps & Bob Bowman at least offering their condolences at the website or to the newspapers? I went to the NBAC site and nothing was mentioned. (See image above.)

When news spread that Louis was in grave condition; 12-hours later is when the NBAC staff contacted the swim parents to let them know what happened.

A lot of questions here about his passing: Like exactly what happened on deck? Did he suffer from a congenital heart, brain or lung issue? How hard was the workout? Were lifeguards and coaches quick to determine what happened soon enough? All this needs to be in the public domain so that warning signs can be observed.

A memorial service will be held on November 6th. Let's hope the owners attend or at least say something that hasn't been parsed by a lawyer.

The Baltimore Sun:  [Link]


Anonymous said...

Because it wasn't a medical condition. Related to unattended workout doing special breathing exercises? Because NBAC shut down all comments from kids? Dig deeper...

Tony Austin said...


Unattended breath control sets probably! OK, I will do my best!

Anonymous said...

Because the family has expressed privacy during their grieving process and because the club owners have met with all its members personally one on one, which is more significant and meaningful then a press release to the general public.

Tony Austin said...

Publicly making this known and zeroing in on what went wrong may prevent it from happening again.

I am not making any money off this tragedy and I am not affiliated with any lawyers. Sometimes the greater good is better than social manners

I am broadcasting it so other clubs, swimmers and lifeguards will know how to prevent it from happening again.

Anonymous said...

You are not the voice of Louis. His mother and father are the only two people who can represent the voice of their son. Period. Thank you for the concern, but you are not influencing the greater good of our community as these young children and their families mourn the loss of their team mate. Please leave it be until after the funeral.

Tony Austin said...

Anon at 6:42: Fair enough, I promise I will leave it alone till after the funeral.

Anonymous said...

Really Tony?? Sweet Jesus you've crossed over to the tinfoil hat team. This I not sexual abuse - theres no risk to the family of coming forward like there would be in a sexual abuse case (embarrassment) so rest assured if there needs to be a lawsuit his family won't need your valiant knighthood to bring the suit.

Why haven't phelps or bowman commented?? What a joke. 1) because a lawsuit is surely pending. 2) because they weren't there. 3) because the family asked for privacy and that would really make the story explode on a mainstream audience. 4) because why the hell should they respond publicly?? Don't you think that if there's something to be said its better off said directly to the family? Otherwise it looks like just a cheap publicity move. It seems though as though cheap publicity is what you're all about.

If you and Irv and whoever else don't stop chasing your own tails, nobody's going to respect you when you have a legitimate bitching.

Tony Austin said...

Cheap publicity? For what, I am not selling anything. I am not running for anything and if you haven't noticed I don't run advertising despite Google Adwords begging me to do so.

This has nothing to do with sexual abuse. I have no idea how you read that into this post and I am definitely not trying to seek "knighthood" nor have I crossed into that "tinfoil hat" territory as you suggest.

You are not very good at crafting insults and the use of double question-marks definitely cheapened your rhetorical questions.

Let me repeat, I am upset that a little boy died apparently because of poor safety precautions or lapse protools. I for one realize that a pool is more dangerous than a loaded gun and the swimmers that use that pool should be protected.

Hence, I am going to make a "stink" because that is the way I roll especially since this is the highest profile swim club in the United States and I don't like reading about senseless drownings.

Deal with it or go read USA Swimming press releases regarding how "swell" the sport is doing and that everything is always well above average. Maybe that is the posts that you prefer?