Lifeguards interviewed by King County investigators said they did not struggle to see the bottom of a pool at Wild Waves Theme Park where a man drowned this summer, according to a report released this week.
The King County Public Health report on the investigation into the drowning of Vijayarengan Srinivasan, 32, draws no conclusions as to what caused the death.
Lifeguards found Srinivasan lying “face up on the bottom” of the park’s Adult Activity pool, according to a Federal Way police report on the incident. Lifeguards and South King County Fire & Rescue crews were unable to revive him.
Investigators with the King County Medical Examiner’s Office said Srinivasan, a programmer who worked in Bellevue, died from asphyxia due to drowning.
The manner of death was ruled an accident, the office said.
According to the police report, one lifeguard working at the Federal Way water park on the day of the incident initially reported that “murkiness” limited visibility in the pool where Srinivasan died.
Other lifeguards interviewed during the county’s investigation of the death said they could see the bottom of the pool where Srinivasan was found, despite the lack of water clarity, the report states.
Lifeguards told investigators the pool’s clarity “differed depending upon where they (lifeguards) were located on the guard stands,” the report states. A large number of people inside the pool during the incident added to a lack of visibility, the lifeguards added.
In a separate statement, a park employee told investigators the lifeguard who reported being unable to find Srinivasan’s body had difficulty because the lifeguard was unable to hold his or her breath long enough to reach the bottom of the 12-foot-deep pool, the report states.
Questioned by county investigators, officials with Ellis & Associates, the firm that oversees the park’s lifeguard training, said each lifeguard employed at the park must be certified before working at facility pools.
What that certification entails was not immediately made clear.
A spokesman for the state Department of Health said they found no violations of state code in the drowning.
In a statement, Wild Waves officials said the county report “reaffirms our commitment to ensuring the safety of all of our guests through certification for our lifeguards, ongoing training and the proper maintenance of our facilities.”
According to police reports, Srinivasan arrived at the park about 11 a.m. with a 32-year-old friend.
The friend told police they both stood “on the big rock platform” at the water park’s activity pool just after noon, with plans to jump in at the 10-foot level and meet “at the edge,” according to the police report.
After making the jump and not seeing Srinivasan, the friend went to the park’s “roller-coaster area,” where they planned to head later, the report states.
About 20 or 30 minutes later, the friend returned and saw lifeguards giving Srinivasan CPR, according to the report.
According to police reports, Srinivasan was from India and moved to Washington about two weeks before his death. His wife and 3-year-old child live in India.