Children were 1st responders to drowning boy: coroner's report
N.W.T. coroner issues 9 recommendations after death of Lodune Shelley
The N.W.T. coroner has released nine recommendations in a report looking into the death of a seven-year-old boy at the Fred Henne Territorial Park beach in Yellowknife last summer.
Lodune Shelly drowned on June 27 while playing at the beach at Long Lake.
The coroner's report says Shelley was taken to the beach that afternoon by a babysitter and given an inflatable toy to use in the water.
Three boys around the age of 10 found Shelley under the water and quickly went to tell adults on the shore, but initially no one responded. They went back to where they located Shelley underwater and again, one of the boys went for help.
A 15-year-old male then responded and recovered Shelley, who was unresponsive. Adults then began CPR and called for an ambulance.
In preparing its recommendations, the coroner's office asked the Lifesaving Society to do an incident analysis; the Department of Industry Tourism and Investment also asked the Lifesaving Society to do an Aquatic Safety Audit on Fred Henne Beach.
The coroner's office recommends ITI enhance its water safety education and awareness campaigns for the park.
The recommendations also include reminding caregivers that children under 10 should be within arm's reach, introducing an admission policy at the beach which could include having park officers ask unattended children to leave, and educating people on the risks of using inflatable toys as they are easily blown by the wind.
In addition, the report says recommendations made in the safety audit should be implemented, such as increasing the level of protection at the beach through additional staff training and rescue equipment. The safety audit stopped short of recommending lifeguards.
The N.W.T. government said last fall it would work with the City of Yellowknife to reinstate lifeguards at Fred Henne beach.