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60-year-old man, 7-year-old girl drown in pond

19 Comments

A 60-year-old man and a seven-year-old girl drowned in a pond in Usuki, Oita Prefecture, on Friday.

According to police, at around 5:20 p.m., the fire department received a call from a local resident, reporting that two people had got into difficulties in the pond, Fuji TV reported. Rescuers arrived at the scene shortly thereafter and pulled Kazunori Hirota and second-year elementary school student Akari Kikuguchi from the water.

Both were taken to the hospital where they were pronounced dead.

Kikuguchi been playing with her classmate, Hirota's daughter, at the edge of the pond when she tripped and fell into the water. When Hirota went in to save the girl, he disappeared beneath the surface.

Police said the pond is about three meters deep. It has an embankment about one meter high.

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19 Comments
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I don't understand how so many people in Japan drown in shallow water. It's not like the guy ran into the raging surf and got pulled under by riptides. My guess is that clothing, shoes and not being a swimmer in the first place ma be the primary cause of a lot of these tragedies.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Every body of water needs life saving equipment at hand, ready to... save lives.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Not again... :(

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Pray for the family of this sweet little angel. God bless the man's family. The most important piece of advice is don't enter the water without some form of flotation.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

UK9393, your right every public area with a pond should have life saving equipment to hand,

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think that this is news for the sole reason that they died in stranfe circunstances

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I understand though, how could he not do something?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Every body of water needs life saving equipment at hand, ready to... save lives.

I totally agree, but at the same time, I can totally imagine someone stealing, vandalizing, or misusing the equipment. It would need to be setup in a way where it automatically signals 119 when someone uses it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

uk9393...good idea. require them all ponds. rip little girl...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Although people can easily drown in shallow water, I wouldn't consider 3 metres shallow. Add to that a 1 metre embankment and it would be a challenge for a physically fit person. This is such sad news. I hope other people can at least learn from this. Be very vigilant around bodies of water and perhaps stay away from places where it may be difficult to escape from.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

a few sticks,ropes and air tubes should be placed in such areas, these equipments are very cheap and easily available

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends". His daughter will grow up knowing her papa died trying to save her friend.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hawkeye: I don't understand how so many people in Japan drown in shallow water.

Three METERS not three FEET.

Seems like a month or two ago JT posted a very similar incident, storage pond, concrete banks, old man, little boy.

And another with a little kid, in the same pond her little sibling drowned in a few years earlier.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Everybody should know how to swim. It's much more important than knowing how to use email, or log onto Facebook. If you can't swim - learn.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Police said the pond is about three meters deep. It has an embankment about one meter high.

This is just asking for trouble. Unless there's a ladder or something on the embankment, there's now way to get out. Which means you've got to tread water until somebody comes along and throws you a rope or something.

Any amount of panic, especially when one person is trying to save another, and it's all over.

If this happened in any western country, there would be a HUGE lawsuit.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There is quite a high rate of drowning in Japan http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/cause-of-death/drownings/by-country/ but it is among the elderly predominantly in the bath (see page 10) http://www.worldconferenceondrowningprevention2011.org/SiteMedia/w3svc1092/Uploads/Documents/WCDP2011_Drown_R_Lu_p110_Presentation.pdf Or towards the end of this very detailed report in Japanese http://www.tokyo-eiken.go.jp/sage/sage2010/. This report also mentions the high rate of death by suffocation in Japan, due to foods (particularly omochi, presumably) getting lodged in the windpipe.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Those people who think there ought to be life saving kit available....that sounds curious to me...Japan is one of the wateryest countries I know ...with rice paddy fields......(water deep enough to drown a child)...lakes, streams and rivers in every city...After heavy rain ..even the tiny streams are dangerous... Ive often thought about safety, but there`s no way, short of fencing it all...that could keep children right away from any risk.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ensnaturae2, you say it a very watery country, knowing this fact should the government make it compulsory that all children have swimming lessons? and even encoridge mothers to take there babies to the swimming pool? this way if a child falls into a pond stream, they could possibly get to the embankment for help. to add to the safety why can't the local councils install floatation aids where open water is? iam sure it would not cost much, what price do people put on there children's life? to me they are precious,

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yes of course you are right, Brian... there are better ways to take care of the children than I suggested...There are certainly mother.. and even very tiny baby ..swimming pool clubs..Compulsory swimming lessons could work...but I think that Japan in many ways... is exceptionally watchful over its children...I do not know the stats on water dangers/accident/drownings for children in Japan...but it may well be the case, as a previous poster suggests... that more elderly people at home, drown in bathtubs....popularly deeper/wider... than western baths... than children in rivers and lakes etc, so perhaps extra precautions would not be acceptable?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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