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Teen nearly drowns in neighborhood pool

LILBURN -- Officials credited a lifeguard at a neighborhood pool in Lilburn with saving a teen's life Monday, a relatively bright outcome to the third emergency incident involving Gwinnett pools in a week.

The 14-year-old boy had just finished swimming laps at the Ridgeland Forest subdivision pool on Ridgeland Court about 4:15 p.m. when his brother, 16, and a friend noticed him floating face-down and unconscious, officials said.

Officials estimated the boy's face was submerged about 90 seconds. How he became unconscious isn't clear, said Fire Department spokesman Capt. Thomas Rutledge.

"According to the lifeguard, it's common practice for the boy to float face down in the pool to relax after swimming," Rutledge said.

The boy, who has not been identified, was pulled from the water by his brother, the lifeguard and several adults, unresponsive and not breathing. The lifeguard asked a patron to call 911, cleared the pool as a safety measure, then administered CPR and chest compressions, Rutledge said.

The boy came to and was breathing when emergency personnel arrived. He was transported to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston Hospital, listed in stable condition, Rutledge said.

Rutledge commended the neighborhood for having the foresight to hire a lifeguard and provide necessary rescue equipment.

"This is a prime example of why you should never swim alone," he said.

Other emergency situations at public pools lately have ended on grimmer notes.

On Sunday evening, a 4-year-old girl drowned at the Durant at Sugarloaf Apartments with her father and a sibling nearby.

Six days prior, a 7-year-old child drowned in a pool at the Amli at McGinnis Ferry apartment complex.

Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children, and Rutledge and other officials urge parents should be wary, even if a child knows how to swim.