Tyler State Park Defends Their Response To Drowning - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/30/06-Tyler

Tyler State Park Defends Their Response To Drowning

Just one day after the drowning, a young boy can be seen making the same swim that killed Juan Cerrano yesterday.

Park Superintendent Bill Smart said, "I think it's just humanity, that we repeat what we do over and over and over, until we get burned."

In the aftermath of the drowning, witnesses were outraged, saying the park took too long to respond after the first call for help.

Lynn Sjostrand was there, and gave Juan mouth-to-mouth before EMS arrived.

"It seemed like an eternity. 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, waiting for somebody to go in and get that boy," Sjostrand said.

The park superintendent says within two minutes of recieving the call, the first officer was on the scene. Inspite of the fact that he was not a cerified diver, he and another officer went in. At first searching the wrong area, because of a miscommunication with family member who didn't speak English. Eventually, one of them recovered the body. It took 40 minutes in all.

"By the time the first EMT got here, we had already recovered the body," said Smart.

Smith County Game Warden Chris Green said, "The recovery was relatively quick.  Some of these going on for days."

They say because Juan was already under water, faster action probably would not have made a difference.

"When a person goes down, takes on water, lungs fill, there's not much hope of reviving that person after they've gone down," said Green.

Yesterday, many of the witnesses were wondering why there were no lifeguards on duty. Park officials say that's simply not practical on public waters.

"We can't afford, and no one would pay for having lifeguards stationed everywhere we have a drowning," said Smart.

That's why when you swim on public waters, you swim at your own risk.

Linsday Wilcox/KLTV 7 News/Reporting: lwilcox@kltv.com

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