A UCSB water polo player, sophomore Nicholas Johnson, was pulled unresponsive from the bottom of the Santa Barbara High School pool this morning, and after receiving treatment from lifeguards and EMTs, was pronounced dead later in the day.
19-year-old Johnson, who swam and played water polo at Santa Barbara High School, was home and completing his own swim practice in one lane while the high school team practiced in the rest of the pool. Three of the high school swimmers trained as lifeguards saw Johnson at the bottom of the pool, and according to local news source Noozhawk, pulled him to the surface and began giving him CPR.
An emergency medical crew was called around 9:45, Noozhawk reports, and began their own treatment of Johnson immediately when they arrived. Johnson was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and was pronounced dead there.
As the UCSB campus and water polo program mourn the loss of one of their own, water polo coach Wolf Wigo called Johnson “the best kid, hardest-working kid, a first-class person and a wonderful students and brother to his teammates,” according to Noozhawk.
USA Water Polo posted the news on Facebook and Twitter today, saying “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and teammates.