14-year-old swimmer Julian Urbina died after being pulled from the pool unconscious during a Thornton Fractional South High School practice in Illinois last Wednesday, November 14th.
Urbina was reportedly engaged in ‘conditioning’ exercises with the T.F. South swim team when he went underwater at the deep end of the pool and failed to surface. Another swimmer located the teen and pulled him from the pool where CPR was then initiated.
Urbina was ultimately pronounced dead at 6:30am on Friday, November 16th, with autopsy results stating his official cause of death as “anoxic encephalopathy,” or deprivation of oxygen to the brain. You can read more about this shallow water-type blackout condition here.
Although the first sanctioned swimming team practice for Illinois high school boys wasn’t until yesterday, Monday, November 19th, ‘open gym’ swim sessions were being held according to Kraig Garber, the Illinois High School Association assistant executive director responsible for boys swimming and diving.
“We don’t establish parameters and type of supervision,” Garber said of “open gyms.” “We leave that up to the member (school).” Per Garber, individual schools — not the IHSA — are responsible for establishing guidelines to keep students safe at “open gyms,” according to Garber. (NWI Times)
Superintendent Teresa Lance said in a statement, “We are deeply saddened by this news.
“Because the investigation is still ongoing, no district personnel is able to speak further to the events,” Lance said. “We are cooperating with law enforcement and have made the decision to close the pool at T.F. South until further notice. The incident is also under review by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
“This event is very unfortunate and as a district, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family,” Lance said. “Again, we cannot provide any additional details regarding this event. However, if your son was a witness to the event or you have a child who desires to speak to someone, please have him or her report to their counselor’s office.” (NWI Times)