Man drowns at Water World

By Caroline Kipp
Posted 7/30/09

Officials at Hyland Hills’ Water World are still waiting on an autopsy report to answer lingering questions about a drowning that happened there …

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Man drowns at Water World

Posted

Officials at Hyland Hills’ Water World are still waiting on an autopsy report to answer lingering questions about a drowning that happened there last week.

“We’re still reeling,” said Joann Gomez, communications director for Hyland Hills Park and Recreation District, which runs Water World. “We’re just heartbroken.”

The incident occurred at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 21 at Captain Jack’s pool where Gomez said the man, Arvada resident Mikhail Valov, 48, was swimming between two lifeguard stations. When lifeguards realized what was happening, Gomez said, they responded immediately.

“The second (the lifeguards) determined he was not responding to them, they jumped into the pool and pulled him out,” Gomez said. “The man was immediately rendered medical attention.”

A paramedic who was nearby also responded to Valov, who was transported to Saint Anthony’s North Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Captain Jack’s pool and the surrounding area were immediately cleared, Gomez said, and the park closed half an hour later as scheduled. It reopened Wednesday, July 22 at its usual time.

Preliminary reports from the Adams County Coroner’s office showed Valov died as a result of drowning, though toxicology reports and an autopsy will result in an official cause of death.

Adams County Coroner James Hibbard said Tuesday there is no new information, and he is still waiting on more tests before the autopsy report will be complete, which can take between four and six weeks.

Gomez said more than 11 million people have visited Water World since it opened 30 years ago, and this is the first drowning incident.

The 300 lifeguards who work at Water World are certified by the National Aquatic Safety Company. Six lifeguards are on duty at all times near Captain Jack’s pool, which has been open as long as the park.

“With the type of safety record we have, we are interested in gathering all the facts,” Gomez said. “We need to know what happened.”

Caroline Kipp can be reached at carolinek@metronorthnews.com

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