NEWTON, Kansas — A young girl is recovering after a near drowning in a hot tub at a hotel in Newton. The accident provides a warning that parents need to know.
There are still questions about what happened, but the 911 call shows that something, either her hair or a strap from her bathing suit, got caught and held the girl underwater.
The incident involved a 12-year-old at the Red Coach Inn of Newton. According to the 911 call from her sister, the girl was caught underwater.
“My sister got stuck in this hot tub at Red Coach, she’s stuck in the thing, and she’s like, drowning,” the sister says on the 911 call.
When the dispatcher asked if the girl could breathe, the sister responded, “She’s like underneath the water in the hot tub and she’s drowning.”
Friends of the family tell KSN that the girl was rushed to the hospital and is now recovering after being released from the hospital.
KSN asked managers at the hotel about the situation but they declined to comment and corporate ownership also did not respond to our request for more details. KSN does know that the city of Newton sent someone to check it out. The city said that the hot tub did not have any broken or missing parts.
The Department of Agriculture is the agency in charge of hot tub inspections. Officials from the agency confirm the incident and after receiving a request request for an inspection they went to check out the facility on Tuesday.
“We had an inspection actually conducted this morning with a district manager and an inspector so we had two people out there taking a look at the facility,” said Nicole Hamm with the Kansas Department of Ag.
The Ag Department says it had not been to inspect the hot tub since at least before 2008, which are the most recent records that were available. Also, they say there have been no complaints about the hot tub in that time. The report on Tuesday’s inspection is not yet available.
Those who sell hot tubs in Wichita say there are relatively new laws regarding hot tub safety but regardless there is a responsibility on the user to take proper precautions. The 2008 law required drain, grate and suction covers.
“And the dome is certified to where it cannot have any potential for a human getting stuck to it,” said Paul Dibben, service manager at Ultra Modern Pool & Patio.
But even with the covers, it may be possible for something to get caught in a hot tub intake, potentially keeping a person underwater, which is why authorities say proper supervision of kids is essential and any hot tub can potentially pose a safety risk.
KSN is awaiting the report from the state on the inspection of that particular hot tub in Newton and will update as the new information is received.
To read more about the Kansas Regulations for hot tubs as made available by the Kansas Department of Agriculture, please follow this link.