On Saturday afternoon, a suburban Lake Worth man drowned when he tried to retrieve a remote-controlled boat from his neighborhood pond. According to authorities and neighbours in Palm Beach Plantation, a community at Lantana and Hagen Ranch roads west of Palm Beach County Park Airport, the man’s boat had capsized near the pond’s fountain at about 4:30 p.m. He swam out to retrieve it, but then began to scream for help near the fountain, about 30 feet offshore.

Kashmar Barnes was working on his car somewhere nearby when he heard the cry for help. “I thought it was kids,” he stated. After he went to take a look, he discovered that there was a man in white tank top splashing in the water. He instructed his girlfriend to call 911 while he took off his shoes and dived in. By the time he got in, the man had already sunk below. “The body just went straight down,” Kashmar recounted.

Another neighbour who has nearby also dived in to assist Kashmar. Together, they dived under the water around the pond’s fountain, in search of him. The water was roughly 15-20 feet deep, murky and really cold. Kashmar wasn’t able to locate him and had to retreat back to shore when he started experiencing an asthma attack. Juan Rodriguez, the man’s next-door neighbour, saw the man’s cries for help. “He came up one, two, three, four times and that was it,” he said.

The man’s body did not resurface until he was pulled out by Palm Beach County Fire Rescue divers approximately an hour after the incident. He was found under the water near the fountain. Currently, authorities are still investigating the case to determine if the pond’s fountain might have contributed to the drowning. According to Fire Rescue spokesman Capt. Albert Borroto, the community’s maintenance man informed the firefighters that the fountain actually creates a “significant suction effect” underwater. The fountain was actually shut off before divers went in for the search and rescue.

Neighbours continue to question the man’s decision to head into the water to retrieve his boat. They described the boat to be 3 to 4 feet long and gasoline-powered. They usually would see him operate it via a remote control and would often drive it in the pond. The main entrance to the pond is also marked with a “no swimming” sign. For the full story, you can read it here.

Happy Fish Swim School would like to remind everyone about how unpredictable such water conditions can be. The swimming complexes in Singapore are fixed in a specific condition to remove any form of unpredictability. Therefore, one can be sure that swimming lessons are conducted in the safest of conditions.