Child dies after being pulled from pool at Cobbs Creek Rec Center

pool recreation center Philadelphia
A sign at a Philadelphia rec center warning of height requirements for those who wish to swim.
Credit: Rikard Larma / Metro

A 7-year-old boy who was in critical condition Thursday after nearly drowning in a swimming pool at a West Philadelphia rec center died Saturday, according to Mayor Michael Nutter’s office.

Authorities said Jabriel O’Connor, 7, was using the pool at the Cobbs Creek Recreation Center, located at 250 S. 63rd St. near Walnut Street, while attending a private summer camp.

Counselors shortly before 1 p.m. noticed the child was unresponsive at the bottom of the pool.

Lifeguards administered CPR on site, and O’Connor was rushed to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

He was initially hospitalized in critical condition before passing away Saturday.

The camp O’Connor attended was hosted by social services coalition Families Forward, which serves the children of homeless families.

The organization had a permit to use the pool, according to authorities.

Officials said four counselors and four lifeguards were watching 25 children in the water at the time of the incident.

O’Connor was reportedly unable to swim and was not wearing a life vest.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Jabriel’s parents, family, friends and all of the young people present at the Cobbs Creek Recreation Center on Thursday as they grieve,” Nutter said in a statement.

“The city will continue to provide support services to Jabriel’s family, the camp staff, city employees and community members affected by this tragedy. It is my hope that they can find strength and comfort from the support of their loved ones and the entire Philadelphia community at this difficult time.”


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