Police: Drowning victim, 8, might have gotten stuck under pool cover

rlurye@islandpacket.comJuly 17, 2014 

ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

An 8-year-old Bluffton boy who drowned in an above-ground, backyard pool Monday had been swimming in about 3 feet of water, according to the Bluffton Police Department.

It's possible Gavin Quance became stuck under a soft pool cover, which was bunched in the water when police arrived at the home on Augustine Lane at 10:25 a.m., according to Maj. Joseph Manning.

Autopsy results are pending from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, Beaufort County Coroner Ed Allen said Thursday. However, it does not appear the boy suffered any other injuries, such as from a fall into the pool, Manning said.

A pool ladder was lying on the lawn a few feet away, and a hose was still filling the 3 1/2-foot-deep pool when officers arrived Monday, a report of the incident stated.

Quance was a good swimmer and a member of a swim team, his 14-year-old brother told police after the boy was found floating face down at 10:10 a.m. The brother was sleeping in the home when he was awakened by his mother's screams, according to the report.

Amanda Quance had been going in and out of her home when she found her son in the pool, pulled him out and performed CPR until police arrived and took over, Manning said.

The 14-year-old boy waited inside their house with his 2-year-old brother as EMS worked to save Gavin Quance.

The teenager said he "didn't understand what was happening," according to the report.

He told police he has a cousin who nearly drowned as a toddler in Florida, but hospital staff used an automatic external defibrillator to revive the boy, who is now 6 years old and healthy, the report said.

Outside, EMS workers were preparing to use the same device on Quance, but they were unable to deliver a shock, the report said. The devices are programmed to measure a victim's heart rhythm and then advise whether to continue with a shock. In Gavin Quance's case, the device advised against it -- likely because he did not have a shockable rhythm.

The boy was pronounced dead at the hospital, the report said.

"It's just a tragedy this happened," Manning said.

Follow reporter Rebecca Lurye at twitter.com/IPBG_Rebecca.

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