Approximately 200 people each year die in pools with lifeguards and what is a sad fact these could very well be preventable deaths. At a recent site visit, I was horrified to discover that three people had died over the course of 20 years in their pool. Because of this, they installed a security system. I was very impressed at the measures taken to avoid similar incidents from happening in the future there. There are a few different systems that help save lives.
At the facility a system, called Poseidon, had been installed; which is a computer aided drowning detection system. The system is mainly limited to static water pools and the feed from the camera into a computerized monitoring software package is capable of tracking the activity of swimmers and alerting staff if swimmers exhibit known behaviors associated with drowning. The system not only sets off alarms within the facility but also is able to send alerts to phones and other WIFI based devices, although these types of systems are expensive the alternatives are far more costly when you factor in possible lawsuits and the pain and suffering due to the loss of a loved one.
A less expensive alternative, are viewing aids for lifeguards which are series of underwater cameras allowing lifeguards to view areas of the pool simultaneously without having to move, these cameras are usually paired with above the waterline cameras providing face to body matching if there is an incident where a swimmer needs to be identified but may not show their face below the waterline.
Another type is remote monitoring, it utilizes the same technology as the viewing aids class of systems and includes recording and storage capability. It is used in conjunction with a person that is actively monitoring the pool and records the chain of events leading up to a potential drowning.
These types of systems do have their limitations, and one should never rely on just an electronic safety system. An experienced person in charge of monitoring the pool area and standard pool safety is important, as is knowing how to swim. My point in writing this blog is there are tools to help eliminate possible tragedies and though some of these tools are expensive the alternatives are for more costly when you factor in losing a loved one to a preventable drowning.
For more about the Poseidon system installed in our customer’s facility click here.
For more information about preventing unintentional drownings click here.