This picture was taken Tuesday WHILE THE BODY WAS STILL IN THE POOL and people continued to play without noticing!

By LadyJustice

Fall River, Massachusetts If you’re planning on going swimming this 4th of July you might want to be careful what you’re bumping into. 2 days after a mother of 5 in Massachusetts drown she was finally pulled out of the pool. The whole time the pool was not only open to the public, but multiple health inspectors checking the safety of the pool failed to find the body as well as the lifeguards on duty! (Can we say epic fail?)


Marie Joseph, 36, in better health.

In a Fall River swimming pool Marie Joseph’s body went unnoticed for 2 days. She went swimming on Sunday, June 26th, with a group of friends including her 9-year-old neighbor. During the excursion the neighbor went down the water slide at the 12-foot deep water pool. Joseph followed him because she was chaperoning the slide.

“Marie unexpectedly slid down the slide, landing on top of him,” Fall River Police Chief Daniel Racine said Wednesday. “He further stated he believed Marie went under the water and did not surface.”

Making this story even more outrageous is what happened next. The boy went to the lifeguard and told him what had happened right afterwards and the lifeguard told the child he’d check the pool. That was around 2 pm on Sunday. (Obviously the lifeguard didn’t “check the pool.”)


Marie Joseph

Her friends, including the woman that drove her to the pool, Veronica Reis, 21, thought that she’d just walked home from the pool. Even though she never returned her boyfriends phone calls he thought she just wanted to be alone. (How about checking on her? Duh…)

6 lifeguards were on duty in the time period that Marie Joseph’s body floated in the cloudy water and none of them found her. The most unthinkable, outraging part of this story for me is that 2 health inspectors came on Monday to evaluate the pool and test its water. They didn’t find her and neither did the other health inspector that came on Tuesday. All they found was “cloudy water.”

It took 2 children that jumped the fence for a swim late Tuesday night to find her body floating in the pool. It’s not clear how many people saw her body in the pool between when she drowned and when she was found. (With the way lifeguards listen I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people were dismissed in this case.)

William Flanagan, mayor of Fall River, called Joseph’s death “tragic” and said he was demanding an investigation. (Although I don’t think that he had to “demand” anything.)

“It has come to my attention that health inspectors from the city visited the pool on Monday and Tuesday and inspected the facilities. I have immediately placed those inspectors on administrative leave,” he said. He added that the city plans to offer assistance to the state Department of Recreation and Conservation, which manages the pools and is conducting the investigation. Everyone who worked at the pool is also on administrative leave. (Thank God the inspectors and pool employees are at least on leave…I wonder if it’s paid leave though…)

Investigators are now watching surveillance tapes and doing interviews to see how this could possibly happen. (I think it has something to do with the lifeguard not listening to the little boy, the health inspectors not doing their jobs right, and her friends not looking for her.) The medical examiner has completed an autopsy finding that the woman did indeed drown Sunday and was at the bottom of the pool of the ENTIRE 2 days! The investigators are saying that the murky waters probably did conceal her body and added that a diver wasn’t visible after being at a depth of 3 1/3 to 4 feet under the surface of the water.

“The facts appear to indicate that a woman was in the water for a number of days and not noticed by staff, patrons or other inspections that may have taken place,” said State Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard Sullivan, whose department oversees state-run pools.

He also said he found the possibility disturbing and “a breakdown systematically somewhere.” (Gee, ya think?) They have reopened 11 of the 30 deep water pools in Massachusetts that have been closed until the investigation is done stating that the staff in those pools are well trained. Let’s hope that new regulations are put in place to keep this from happening again. Happy 4th of July everyone!

Source 1 | Source 2 | Source 3 |  Source4 

  1. thinkgoat says:

    The public swimming pool where the body of a woman lay unnoticed for more than two days should never have been opened on the day she drowned because the water was too murky, state investigators said Wednesday.

    The pool’s manager, its assistant manager and the regional director of the Department of Conservation and Recreation were asked to resign for their roles in keeping the state-run Fall River pool open on June 26 when 36-year-old Marie Joseph drowned accidentally. A fourth employee, the agency’s district manager with oversight of the pool, was placed on leave.

    A city health inspector also has been fired.

    “We think bad decisions were made,” said Edward Lambert, commissioner of the state Department of Conservation and Recreation. “The pool should not open if there is a water clarity issue.”

    State officials released the preliminary findings of an investigation into the drowning and what happened during the two days that Joseph’s body lay at the bottom of 12 feet of milky water.

    Investigators said a review of surveillance video showed Joseph going down a water slide into the pool’s deep end, surfacing briefly and bumping into a child before going under. The entire sequence lasted only six seconds. The video showed no signs of Joseph struggling, investigators said.

    “Water clarity was the primary factor in preventing lifeguards from being alerted to the drowning and from subsequently detecting Ms. Joseph at the bottom of the pool after she submerged,” said Carl Rudge, chief park ranger for the agency and lead investigator.

    Rudge said one of four lifeguards on duty at the time of the accident was supervising the water slide, but he noted that department rules require that two lifeguards monitor the slide and that diving blocks be closed while the slide is in use – something that also was not done.

    Investigators stopped short of blaming the lifeguard near the slide, saying her attention may have been diverted by a group of other swimmers.

    A short time after Joseph went under, officials closed the deep end of the pool because of the cloudy water but allowed the rest of it to remain open, another violation of protocol, investigators said.

    Joseph, a native of Haiti and mother of five, worked as a hotel housekeeper in Newport, R.I. Her body did not surface until the evening of June 28, more than two days after she drowned, when youths jumping a fence for an after-hours swim discovered it.

    Massachusetts pools are expected to be crowded over the next several days as a heat wave that has gripped much of the nation’s midsection moves eastward. Lambert said he was confident the state-run facilities are safe.

    “This tragic event leaves heavy hearts in an agency that prides itself on its ability to provide high quality, safe, recreational opportunities,” he said.
    Investigators said they were unable to corroborate a report that the boy who Joseph bumped into told two lifeguards about the incident.

    The boy’s mother told the Boston Herald that her son told lifeguards that Joseph did not resurface. She also said a lifeguard told the boy that they would check, but never did.
    The pool’s entire staff was placed on administrative leave after the body was found and officials closed all 24 of the state’s other deep-water swimming pools for inspection. All were later reopened except for the one in Fall River, which was drained.

    Five similar water slides at other state-run pools have been closed while officials review procedures, Lambert said.

    Fall River Mayor William Flanagan told The Associated Press that on Wednesday he fired a city health inspector who checked on the pool two days after the drowning, while Joseph’s body was still at the bottom and other people continued to swim in it. Flanagan said the inspector should have taken action to protect other swimmers after noting that the water was cloudy.

    A second inspector who had been placed on administrative leave was reinstated after it was determined that she had not seen the water, Flanagan said.

    Protocols require that the grates at the bottom of pools always be visible, but a review of the video showed the water began to cloud up on Saturday – for reasons that remain unclear – and continued to be murky for the next few days, the state investigation found.

    In the future, water clarity at all pools will be tested using a 5-inch black and white disk that must be visible at the bottom of a pool before it can open, Lambert said.

    Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for Bristol District Attorney Sam Sutter, said Wednesday that the DA is continuing a separate, “intensive investigation” into the circumstances of Joseph’s death, that he hopes to conclude next month. No criminal charges have been filed.

    Gov. Deval Patrick ordered the state review, calling the case “terrible,” and “bizarre.”

    Dr. Lauren Smith, a state public health official, said the presence of the body in the pool was unlikely to pose a health risk to other people who continued to swim.




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