Friday, November 02, 2012

The Louis Lowenthal tragedy is now being reported overseas in Great Britain!


[UPDATE 1:  Located at the bottom of this post]
[UPDATE 2:  Located at the bottom of this post]

How can an accomplished swimmer presumably swimming in a lane full of kids, presumably being watch by the coach or coaches, and presumably being watched by lifeguards sink to the bottom the pool. It is now being questioned in Great Britain.

In the photo to the right is Louis participating in a "polar bear" swim. That illustrates  how tough he was!
From the Mail Online:  
"... Fourteen-year-old high school student and standout swimmer Louis Lowenthal died Wednesday after being pulled from the bottom of a pool at the Meadowbrook Aquatic Center on Sunday. ..." 
[Link]

I was at  Masters swim meet when Olympian Parry O'Brien died of a heart attack during the 500-yard freestyle. He did his flipturn, pushed off the wall at somewhere around the 200-yard mark, and then sank. Lifeguards were on it before he hit the bottom of the pool.  

I was the first person to report the tragedy and I reported how I saw it happen first hand. [Blog posts on the topic located here:  Link] - I hope someone comes forward with their version.

Where were the lifeguards, the coaches, the adults in charge? what sort of set was he doing?  Was it a breath control set and if so did that contribute to his death? 

This death should be thoroughly investigated. If the autopsy proves that his heart, lungs, and brain were fine, I hope the police investigate. 

This is so important yet no one is talking. I am told that even the kids have been ordered to leave it alone on the social networks!  If a witness would like to contact me, please leave a comment anonymously in the comments section. No one will be able to trace you including me.

[UPDATE 1CBS Baltimore is reporting: "... The club said that on Sunday, someone saw Lowenthal go into the pool. That witness left the pool area but when they returned, found Lowenthal at the bottom of the pool. A lifeguard pulled him out and performed CPR, but was unable to revive him. ..." [Link]

[UPDATE 2:  CBS Baltimore is reporting: "... The autopsy is incomplete at this time. It is still unclear what caused him to drown..." [Link]

Rule number-one of pool swimming - don't swim alone. Also note how they don't call the witness a lifeguard or a coach.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

The family asked for privacy, why don't you give it to them instead of starting a witch hunt. In lawsuit hungry America, if there's something to sue over their will be a lawsuit at due time. So give it a rest in the meantime.

Anonymous said...

The family asked for privacy, why not oblidge their wishes instead of starting a witch hunt. In lawsuit hungry America if there is a reason to sue there will be a lawsuit in due time. In the meantime you should oblidge the families wish for privacy, you aren't doing them any favours.

Tony Austin said...

When kids get abused or die due to what appears to be gross negligence in regards to safety procedures, I open my mouth. In the past 3-years good things have happened as a result.

Tony Austin said...

Anon at 4:25 PM - I may not be doing the family any favors but keeping quiet about this senseless and tragic error is something that should be broadcast so it never happens again. PERIOD!

Anonymous said...

I feel very sorry for the family.

What needs to be investigated and discussed is if the young man was hyperventilating before trying to swim long distances underwater.

Tony, you have an opportunity here. Report on how taking deep breaths before trying to swim across the pool underwater is VERY dangerous. The US Navy published a memo about 12 years ago saying this type of thing is not allowed at their pools.

The physiology of shallow water blackout is not all that hard to grasp and can help keep it from happening again.

It happens often, right here in Baltimore is happened 20 years ago at a local community pool. The word needs to spread on how dangerous taking several deep breaths before swimming underwater can be.

Tony Austin said...

I am on it! - Will have a post today.

Tony Austin said...

Shallow water blackout: US Navy two years ago...
http://www.public.navy.mil/navsafecen/Documents/media/seashore/seasonal/SeaShoreWinter09-10.pdf

Anonymous said...

I was swimming with Louis that morning. There was no danger in the set we were doing and there was not a risk of a overly rapid heart rate. It is suspected by his pediatrician that Louis had an undetected heart murmur. It is preposterous that people are saying that this tragedy is anyone's fault. The family wishes for privacy, and I doubt they will be filing a lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

I was swimming with Louis that morning. There was no danger in the set we were doing and there was not a risk of a overly rapid heart rate. It is suspected by his pediatrician that Louis had an undetected heart murmur. It is preposterous that people are saying that this tragedy is anyone's fault. The family wishes for privacy, and I doubt they will be filing a lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

I was swimming with Louis that morning. There was no danger in the set we were doing and there was not a risk of a overly rapid heart rate. It is suspected by his pediatrician that Louis had an undetected heart murmur. It is preposterous that people are saying that this tragedy is anyone's fault. The family wishes for privacy, and I doubt they will be filing a lawsuit.

Tony Austin said...

Thank you very much for clarifying this. I do truly thank you for this clarification or correction if you will.

I do have a question though: the press was reporting that a lifeguard had to be summoned as if the lifeguards were not on deck. Is this correct? Were there lifeguards present? If so was the response quick and aggressive?

I have been concerned about this all this past weekend and any information you can provide would be both important and appreciated.

Tony Austin

Anonymous said...

A lifeguard performed CPR that granted Louis's body the ability to donate his organs and save five lives of children.

Tony Austin said...

That's very commendable. I salute both Louis and his family for being extraordinarily generous.

Was a lifeguard on deck when Louis struggled?

Anonymous said...

I agree that it is strange that a lifeguard was not on deck or in a chair. I swam for 16 yrs, and I know policy was that NOBODY was in the pool unless a guard was there. Plus, the pool needed to be locked up if one was not there. Why are others not questioning this. Also, where is M. Phelps? He owns the pool. If my kids swam there, I would want to know who was or was not watching them.

Tony Austin said...

According to the Meadowbrook website Michael Phelps owns the pool:

THe autopsy will provide a lot of information.

http://www.mbrook.com/aboutus.html

I am going to post more stuff tomorrow since today is the service.


TOny

Anonymous said...

Come on. Phelps owns half that pool, yes, but Bob Bowman is also 50% owner. How come no one is wondering where Bob Bowman is? Oh yeah, because he's not as famous. Stop with the sensationalism, if you are really curious to know if their was a lifeguard there instead of wondering where Phelps (who is unlikely to have ever had much to do with the day to day operations) is, ask the brains of the operation - Bowman.

Tony Austin said...

Phelps owns half the pool? Please Show me the reference.

THAT is really important.

I know Phelps owns the Michael Phelps Swim school, but if he owns half of the pool or half of NBAC, than they have to start answering questions.

Tomorrow I pose question to Bob Bowman.

Anonymous said...

At our club at one of our training sites the coaches serve as the lifeguards. They are all lifeguard trained.

Tony Austin said...

Mine too.

Anonymous said...

In your previous post you said:"NBAC owners, Michael Phelps & Bob Bowman"

and then

"Tony Austin said...

According to the Meadowbrook website Michael Phelps owns the pool:"

One min you are saying Phelps owns the pool...

Next...

"Phelps owns half the pool? Please Show me the reference.

THAT is really important."

You are pretending this is news to you.


The website lists Robert Bowman as the owner. http://www.mbrook.com/aboutus-staff.html

But no instead of taking it up with him, who makes the decisions you want to get hits to your blog by questioning Phelps. It wouldn't be hard to contact Bowman I think, but you have don't really have the best interest of the kids family at heart you just want to start a witch hunt.

Tony Austin said...

Let me take up your items one-by-one.

1.) I was in error about Phelps having any financial association with NBAC. I will make that correction in my next post. I made a promise not to post anything more till after the service and I kept it. The correction is forthcoming.

2.) Meadowbrook in the About US page said it was owned by these two people:

Purchased in 1987 by Murray and Patricia Stephens, Meadowbrook began a transformation from a pool of the past to a facility for the future. After upgrading the centerpiece outdoor pool, the Stephens' set their sights on Murray's long-time dream: to create an aquatics venue in Baltimore comparable to competitive training centers in Florida and California. Ground was broken in December of 1994 for the indoor pools which began year round operation in September of 1995.

http://www.mbrook.com/aboutus.html

There was no talk therein of a transaction turning it over to Bob Bowman. In fact, you would be surprised as to how many people in the know are making that same error.

My name is Tony, not "The Amazing Tony" and I apologize for not being "psychic" enough to realize that the owners listed on the About Us page were no longer the owners but rather they sold out to Bob Bowman. I welcome your clarification, Bowman will become the target of my questions, criticisms and potential wrath if the club was at fault and takes no responsibility if found negligent.

Yes, the real owner was listed in the Staff page, that page where you generally put the names of the help rather than the real owner. Normally a professional website puts who founded the organization, the history, it's mission statement, and who owns in the club About Us, page. I see that as unprofessional. your milage may vary.

3.) Witch hunt? that is the best you can do? I published this story to the general swim public first because I hate drowning stories. see these two posts

http://scaq.blogspot.com/2009/12/this-post-is-for-age-group-parents-and.html

http://scaq.blogspot.com/2010/05/weekend-news-was-filled-with-drowning.html

- I HATE DROWNING STORIES AND I COVER THEM and I have a long history of doing so. Type in word "drowning" in the search bar and see how much I talk about it.

While doing volunteer work at Lull Special Ed in Encino I have helped change diapers on a brain damaged teen who fell into a pool when he was a toddler and was barely rescued. He was so brain damaged that he had a feeding tube in his stomach, he could not walk, talk, sit up, or swallow. Thank god he could still smile

If you call my anger towards senseless drownings a witch hunt, then i am the guy with the "gasoline."

Tony Austin said...

Anonymous - it now is Wednesday in Baltimore. I have a new post up asking why Bowman has not made a statement? I also corrected an earlier post tying Phelps into this. (thank you, I hate making mistakes when it is this serious.)

So, Bowman owns the pool, the club, and this terrible tragedy. When you own something, you take responsibility for it. I call him out and ask that he make a statement