Father’s Day celebration ends in tragedy

Teenager drowns at Hooper pool

HOOPER – A family’s celebration of Father’s Day with swimming at the Hooper pool ended in tragedy on Sunday when the 14-year-old son, the oldest of three children, drowned.

According to Saguache County Sheriff Dan Warwick, the teenager was with his family at Sand Dunes Swimming Pool in Hooper and “was doing fine.”

“The father was watching him,” Warwick says, “and then he had to watch the two younger children. When he looked back, the boy was gone. He thought he might have gotten out of the pool to walk around. After a while of searching, they cleared everybody out of the pool so they could see just the pool and located him in the water.”

When asked who all responded to the scene, Warwick said an off-duty deputy with the sheriff’s office was at the pool when the incident happened. Another deputy was quickly dispatched. There were other law enforcement personnel at the pool, too, he says, along with nurses and doctors who were there as patrons.

When the page to dispatch went out, Alamosa ambulance and Center ambulance both responded along with Moffat Fire Department “because they’re right there. A number of responded,” Warwick said.

The moment the boy’s body was located, he was pulled out of the water. Patrons of the pool experienced in health care initiated life-saving techniques while law enforcement maintained the scene. Care for the boy was transferred to first responders upon their arrival.

The boy was loaded into an ambulance, which then headed toward the hospital, but was rerouted. According to Warwick, the decision to change destinations was made en route. Based upon the doctors’ information on the scene, it was decided that taking the boy to the hospital was no longer appropriate. 

When asked about lifeguards on duty, Warwick says that a sign stating “no lifeguards on duty” is posted in multiple locations and the practice has been in place for years.

“This is a tragedy on any day, but on Father’s Day…” Warwick said.

The Saguache County Coroner had not released the victim’s identity as of Monday.