Philadelphia Girl, 17, Drowns in Cape May County, NJ Campground Pool

Ben Fogletto Posted: Friday, June 10, 2011 9:53 pm | Updated: 6:06 am, Sat Jun 11, 2011. MIDDLE TOWNSHIP – A 17-year-old Philadelphia girl died Friday afternoon at a campground swimming pool off Delsea Drive after reportedly playing a game with friends that involved holding their breath underwater. The girl, whom police did not name, went underwater at the Hideaway Beach Condominium Campground in the Dias Creek section of the township and did not resurface. “I believe she was swimming with some other friends, taking turns going underwater, and she just didn’t come up. Some people pulled her from the water, and she wasn’t breathing,” Middle Township police Capt. Paul Fritsch said. Multiple 911 calls were made to the Middle Township Police Department Communication Center starting at 2:20 p.m., reporting it as a possible drowning. By the time help arrived, the girl had been pulled from the pool. Police said an adult friend of the girl and a family member of the friend were performing CPR. Middle Township Emergency Medical Services took over CPR and then transported the girl to Cape Regional Medical Center in Cape May Court House. AtlantiCare Medics also assisted at the scene. But the girl was pronounced dead at 3:10 p.m. A sign at the pool says there is no lifeguard on duty and people younger than 16 must be accompanied by an adult. The sign said swimming alone is prohibited and the pool will be closed when the owners or a manager is not on the premises. Fritsch said his preliminary investigation indicates the girl was not swimming alone, that her aunt was with her and she was swimming with other teenagers. Campground manager Brian Clowney said Hideaway Beach was following the state’s rules for swimming pools at campgrounds. He said there was no lifeguard on duty, but one is not required by the state. He said the girl was there with her aunt. Clowney said that in his four years working at Hideaway Beach, nothing like this had ever happened. The campground is located between Route 47 and Delaware Bay. Besides the swimming pool, it has a game room, miniature golf, a basketball court and other amenities for the condominium campsite owners. There is a locked gate at the entrance. The death is being investigated by Sgt. William Adams and Detective Mark Higginbottom. The girl’s parents had been notified as of Friday evening, but police still would not release the girl’s name. Authorities expect an autopsy to be done, but police did not say whether one had been scheduled yet. Contact Richard Degener: 609-463-6711 RDegener@pressofac.com

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