News

6-year-old drowns in Castro Valley pool

Lifeguards pull boy from 4-feet of water but fail to resuscitate him

A 6-year-old boy drowned at the Castro Valley High School Swim Center on Monday during a trip with his daycare, according to the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.

Just before 2:15 p.m., Alameda County fire and medical personnel responded to calls about a possible drowning at 3979 Mabel Ave., according to the sheriff's office.

They arrived to find lifeguards giving CPR to 6-year-old Paul Sniffen of Castro Valley at the side of a pool. Paul was transported to Eden Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Investigators later determined that Paul was at the pool for the day with a Castro Valley-based childcare service, and that his parents were not present at the time of the drowning.

At some point, Paul went from the center's shallow pool to its deeper pool, according to the sheriff's office. It was not immediately clear who allowed the boy to go to the deeper pool or if he went on his own.

Lifeguards discovered Paul in about four feet of water and performed a water rescue before administering CPR. The Alameda County coroner's bureau determined the cause of death was drowning.

Sheriff's investigators were in the process this afternoon of interviewing 15 people as a result of the drowning. Anyone with information is asked to call Sgt. Dave Dickson at (510) 667-3921.

Comments

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Posted by so sad
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 29, 2010 at 8:36 am

How sad...I was never comfortable letting my child attend these events without me around..I don't put blame on anyone, these events are just to busy for everyone to keep track of..my prayers go out to the family.


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Posted by FRIEND
a resident of Charter Oaks
on Jul 29, 2010 at 8:51 am

NO WORDS OR PRAYERS,OR ANYTHING CAN HEAL LOSING A YOUNG LIFE LIKE THIS.THOSE THAT HAVE EXPERIENCE THIS AND THOSE OF US IN THE EMERGENCY RESPONDER S LIVE WITH THE HOPE THAT THE FUTURE WILL BRING IN TIME THE STRENGTH TO MOVE FORWARD AND JUST LOVE THE TIME WE ALL HAVE TOGETHER.MAY YOUR HIGHER POWER GIVE YOU STRENGTH AND BE WITHYOU ALWAYS .


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Posted by reasonable
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 29, 2010 at 9:46 am

How terribly tragic. Unfortunately, even with the best of intentions and adequate supervision, it is never totally safe when there are so many kids together. Many drownings happen at family parties because even the parents can get distracted for a few minutes here and there.

Teaching kids to swim well and early is the only thing parents can do. Swimming with them in the pool may work with 3 year olds and wearing life vests may work when they're 4 but it gets harder as they get older. 6 and 8 year olds will want to go to swim parties, join their friends on the water slides and diving boards, and attend camps and programs like this one which feature field trips to pools and lakes as a special treat. The weak swimmers will follow the strong swimmers..... and there you go.

I recently watched a group of 9 year olds, and two could barely swim. In this day and age, that fact (not So Sad's comment that the parents aren't personally with the kids 24/7) is what is really scary.


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Posted by mom
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jul 29, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Please be careful and sensitive on this post. I know the family and these are loving caring parents, who left the child in the safety, so they thought, of an accredited day care provider in CV. They are obviously devastated. This forum can be very insensitive at times. please leave thoughts of positive nature and condolences here.


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Posted by maja7
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jul 29, 2010 at 6:55 pm

I am so sorry for the loss of this young child. My heartfelt prayers of comfort to the family.


Like this comment
Posted by Heartbreaking
a resident of California Somerset
on Jul 29, 2010 at 7:32 pm

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of this young child.


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Posted by Marie
a resident of Castlewood
on Jul 30, 2010 at 11:51 am

My thoughts and prayers also go out to the lifeguard staff that was on duty that day. What a tragic accident!


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Posted by cb15
a resident of another community
on Aug 2, 2010 at 11:28 am

Thoughts and prayers go out to the family.


Like this comment
Posted by Sean Sniffen
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 11, 2015 at 7:24 pm

He also has 2 brothers and 1 sister... I'm one of the brothers. I was five, one year younger than Paul. I know it's much harder on parents because I was young. I wasn't there at the time, though.


Like this comment
Posted by Eric
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Mar 12, 2015 at 1:39 pm

Tears go out for the child and family. I couldn't imagine the pain.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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