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10 water-related deaths reported across Japan on Sunday

12 Comments

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Monday that there were 10 water-related deaths in eight prefectures across Japan on Sunday as people tried to escape searing temperatures by flocking to beaches, rivers and swimming pools.

Among those who died was Kensuke Kondo, 5-year-old preschooler, who was playing at a wave pool in Shikoku-Chuo City, Ehime Prefecture, Fuji TV reported. He was found submerged and taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead. At that time, there were over 200 people playing in the pool.

In Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, an 18-year-old male high school student got into difficulties while swimming at a beach in the afternoon. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead about two hours later.

In Watarai-cho, Mie Prefecture, Ruka Nagashima, 14, who came to a river with her friends and family, drowned. According to police, she was trying to swim across the river which is 50 meters wide when she disappeared beneath the surface.

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12 Comments
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RIP and my prayers to the families for losing their children at such a young age.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Exactly the same as road safety, a total lack of awareness of the dangers; the kids don't know and the parents and teachers certainly don't know so can't tell them. There is no solution.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

At that time, there were over 200 people playing in the pool.

I would never, but never put my 5 years old child in a pool with so much people inside and where everything gets just too confusing with that mass of people. This is simply asking for serious troubles.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance, hence nothing will change and we will see a similar report soon. RIP kids.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"At that time, there were over 200 people playing in the pool."

And I bet if you asked any of the 'life guards' (ie. part-time staff who get rotated around from the ticket booths) what the capacity is they couldn't tell you, and wouldn't dare try to enforce any rule about others not going in. We see this all the time in pics of the day or real life; the places are FAR too crowded to be safe. I understand wanting to beat the heat, but parents really need to think about this kind of thing before allowing their children in pools like that. RIP. And to all the others, too. Play safe, people, and be smart. And by all means do it in places where if you get into trouble there are others who are trained to rescue you.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Other readers have shared similar sentiments, but I am struck by the fact that a 5 year old drowned in a wave pool. 4 facts in the story stand out. 5 years old. Wave pool. 200+ playing in the pool. Found submerged.

While there is not enough information in the story to reach any conclusions, that last fact, "found submerged", struck me. It sounds very impersonal, as if it was something noticed by someone that had no connection to him. So, the question I would ask is this: was this 5 year old in this wave pool with 200+ people with no one with him? Meaning, no parent or significantly older sibling? If so, that is just nuts and is a recipe for disaster.

Conversely, if accompanied by a parent who understands the limitations of young children, being in a wave people with this many people does not have to end in tragedy and can be entirely safe. Although it may not be so pleasant because of the crowd of people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In the 5 year-old wave pool case, I think it basically comes down to parental supervision. Some posters are criticizing the number of people (200) without any knowledge of the size of the pool and its capacity. A wave pool usually is many times larger than your average swimming pool, and has different sections which may or may not be safe for a 5 year-old, and in this case, we have know idea where he was. What we do know, is that he wouldn't have died if a parent was with him, and being 5 years-old, that is common sense.

@Smith: Why do you always generalize and want to sum it all up by telling us how it is in Japan and tell us how things should be done? Besides, the lifeguards have little to do with the story, and shouldn't have close to the amount of responsibility that the parents do in this case.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tahoochi: "@Smith: Why do you always generalize and want to sum it all up by telling us how it is in Japan and tell us how things should be done? "

Where did this happen? Where do we read about water-related deaths as often as we do mochi-choking deaths we know are going to be reported in winter, kids who get sunstroke practicing for sports day during when it's far too hot, and people falling off of roofs during a typhoon? What should be done? well, let's see, from your own comments:

"What we do know, is that he wouldn't have died if a parent was with him, and being 5 years-old, that is common sense."

So, wouldn't it be 'common sense' to not allow kids in the pool without a parent present? I know places that are PLENTY more strict about this kind of thing, and you don't hear about deaths like this.

"Besides, the lifeguards have little to do with the story..."

Seems they have little to do with ANY of the drownings, which is my point. Even on crowded beaches in Australia and elsewhere there are constantly lifeguards watching for riptide, dangerous creatures, and swimmers in general. They should be REQUIRED on public beaches, and obviously at pools and water parks. There was a drowning just the other day in a pool in a Japanese article where the lifeguard was questioned and just said, "I didn't know".

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/videonews/nnn?a=20150801-00000066-nnn-soci

I agree they should not have the same concern as the parents.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think we agree on the parental supervision issue.

This comment was what I was referring to:

And I bet if you asked any of the 'life guards' (ie. part-time staff who get rotated around from the ticket booths) what the capacity is they couldn't tell you, and wouldn't dare try to enforce any rule about others not going in.

..and this:

Play safe, people, and be smart. And by all means do it in places where if you get into trouble there are others who are trained to rescue you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ony 10? I am impressed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

oh gawd... the intermingled 'in my prayer' posters, here they cometh.

Along side the 10 commandments let there be no rest until the '10-common-senses', number 10 being (in this case) thou shall not offer prayers unless given prayer is bright white, inflates, has a reflective-red cross, ties about the waste, and actually DOES something. amen.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

My 8 year old son and I just came back from a day at Shikotsuko, a lake that is held in notoriety for the number of people who have drowned in it. In water up to 8 feet deep I taught my son how to roll on his back and kick if he is having trouble getting to shallow water (called the "dead man's flop" in my native Michigan), how to sit on the bottom on the lake and tread water with his arms and legs. We had a blast while people lined the beach, pointed and even took pictures. Like most other kids in Tomakomai, my son goes to swimming school (and his is good ) but there is just no comparison between swimming in an enclosed space with heated water with no waves and swimming in a natural body of cooler water.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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