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Investigation: safety oversight at water parks nonexistent

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BATON ROUGE - It appears there are few, if any, regulations for water parks in Louisiana.

The WBRZ News 2 Investigative Unit looked into safety and requirements at facilities after a teenager drowned at Cajun Lagoon in Livingston Parish Tuesday afternoon.

The investigation found while many things are scrutinized, others are not.  Including specifics about lifeguards.

There were five watching the water when Nick Kissner, 14, drowned.  Witnesses said they thought more lifeguards may be needed.

At BREC's Liberty Lagoon in Baton Rouge, there are at least 18 guards on watch at any given time, with about 10 more on standby.  Aquatics Manager Brett Weinberger is in charge of making sure all the guards are certified.

"I just make sure that we follow the guidelines of the training that's taking place," he said.

Weinberger said the Department of Health and Hospitals visits BREC parks at least once a year to make sure they're up to code. But, according to the Department of Health and Hospitals, there are no specific regulations when it comes to guard-person ratio.

"If it's a lap pool, or if it's a shallow pool, that's 3 ft. deep or 6 ft. deep, it all depends on the facility and what kind of pool it is," Weinberger said.

The drowning at Cajun Lagoon is still under investigation.


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