Boy recovering after almost drowning at Yakima YMCA pool

Boy recovering after almost drowning at Yakima YMCA pool »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash. -- An 11-year-old boy is expected to make a full recovery after almost drowning at the YMCA pool in Yakima. Nick Sowell wound up at the bottom of the pool, nine-feet-deep.

Nick's mother tells KIMA she was told the lifeguard on duty was on his cell phone. The YMCA disputes that.

No parent ever wants to hear it. Edye Brockett-Sowell got a call after her son was pulled from the bottom of the pool at the YMCA.

"He said he struggled for a while and he went under the water and he was found down at the bottom of the pool and nobody really knows how long he was down there," said Edye.

According to the YMCA, 22 kids were swimming when it happened Saturday night. The organization says two lifeguards were working at the time. And, that they took turns being on duty.

Its executive director says it's not being taken lightly.

"Anytime you have something that affects child safety, you take it very seriously and it's very difficult,” said Yakima YMCA Executive Director Bob Romero. “It's very challenging and it's been very hard for everybody."

It's not clear exactly what happened. Edye says she was told by her daughter, who was also at the pool, that the lifeguard on duty was on his cell phone while Nick was under water.

Bob Romero says he was told the lifeguard on break was the one on his cell phone. Not the one on duty.

"We have conflicting information on some of the circumstances," said Romero.

Romero says the lifeguard on duty dove in and performed CPR on Nick before first responders got there.

"I was really angry at first,” said Edye. “I was shocked and scared. All those feelings that you have when you think your kid might not make it."

Edye says doctors told her Nick was underwater for too long. He didn't suffer any brain damage. But, she says the hospital plans to file a police report to get some answers about what happened by the pool.

The day before this happened, there was a chlorine scare at the Y that forced an evacuation.

As for Nick, he is out of the intensive care unit, but still hospitalized in Seattle to get physical therapy.

The YMCA says it is still investigating as well. Both lifeguards were minors and still work there. KIMA will follow up.