Quebec teen drowned during school swim and nobody noticed for 38 minutes


first_imgThe Canadian Press MONTREAL — A Quebec teen who drowned during a high school gym class spent 38 minutes at the bottom of the pool without anyone noticing.Coroner Louis Normandin’s report into the death of Blessing Claude Moukoko last February says swimming courses taught as part of the education curriculum must be better managed.He says gym teachers need a minimum of training if they are to give swimming lessons, and a lifeguard should provide full-time surveillance during all courses. Normandin recommends school swimming lessons be suspended until those measures are respected.Moukoko, 14, was taking part in just his third swim class as part of a high school gym course the morning of Feb. 15. Like many of the 19 students in the class, he did not know how to swim. His friends told authorities he struggled to keep his head above water and had trouble in the deep end.No one noticed the Grade 8 student’s absence when his class left the pool deck, and it was only when a second class arrived that they noticed what they thought was a dummy at the bottom of the pool.Moukoko suffered severe brain damage and remained in hospital with his condition not improving before his death on Feb. 21.Normandin says in his report that water safety, not the acquisition of technical swimming skills, should be the primary goal of basic swimming lessons in schools.last_img

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