HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – An 11-year-old boy drowned at the pool at the Beach Colony Resort in Myrtle Beach on Sunday, according to Horry County Deputy Coroner Chris Dontell.
Dontell said the child was transported to Grand Strand Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. The boy has been identified as Trenton Piper, of Cincinnati, Ohio.
According to Dontell, Myrtle Beach police investigated the incident and no charges were filed in the case.
The boy’s aunt, Alicia Piper, spoke with WMBF News’ sister station WXIX in Cincinnati. She said she and her family are devastated.
“My niece hasn’t slept," Piper said. "My nephew hasn’t slept. And I can only imagine when they close their eyes what they see.”
Moving on will be tough for the family, but it’s something Piper said they have to do.
“I, myself, don’t understand it," Piper said. "But I can’t allow myself to let the negative thoughts overtake me, because then I don’t know where I’ll be mentally.”
A petition on Change.org, which is asking for proper first aid equipment at hotels following the drowning, states a group of mothers were at the Beach Colony Resort when they were interrupted by “a soaking wet young boy politely asking for help because his brother was drowning in the pool.”
WARNING: A photo included on the petition may be disturbing to some viewers.
Two of the mothers ran toward the pool, while two others were not far behind, according to the petition.
The petition states one of the mothers dove into the pool and grabbed the boy’s arm but could not lift him. A second woman jumped in and they tried together, but were unsuccessful.
A third mom called for help, prompting two maintenance workers to run into the pool, jump in, and assist with getting the boy out of the water, according to Change.org. Two women then started chest compressions while another called 911. A fourth mother removed a young child to “preserve her innocence,” according to the petition.
The mother who called 911 also looked for an AED/defibrillator box, only to later find out one isn’t available on the resort grounds, the petition stated. The women worked on the child for seven minutes before EMT arrived on scene.
“It should be a requirement that these establishments should have proper first aide with AED equipment on site, inspected regularly, and at minimum two trained staff members at all times with consistent training and refreshers,” the petition states. “Do not accept the bare minimum. Join these mothers movement and be an advocate for all fellow humans!”
The women behind the petition say they immediately thought of their own children after witnessing the incident.
“What was going through my head is I have a daughter who will be 11 in July, and the mom ran in eventually, and the paramedics asked, ‘How old is he?’ And she said 11. And I just thought of my daughter," Kylee Tackett said.
The group of mothers is hoping their petition will bring about change.
“I just felt like it was put on my heart to make change so this doesn’t happen to anybody else," Faith Wahl said.
WMBF News reached out to the Beach Colony Resort for a comment. They directed us to the regional manager. WMBF News contacted the regional manager but have not heard back.