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'It's something you don't think could happen to your friend': Teen nearly drowns at Hitchcock pool

Two near-drowning incidents at Hitchcock pool in short time period
Posted at 6:31 PM, Jun 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-13 19:31:10-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — There have been two near-drowning incidents in the last few weeks at Hitchcock Park Swimming Pool; both involving young men in critical condition. One victim has been identified as 18-year-old Komi Olympio or "Pedro," as his friends call him.

"I was just surprised because it's something you don't think could happen to your friend or anybody, it catches you off guard," his friend and classmate Nicklas Smith said.

On May 29, Olympio nearly drowned while swimming with his friends at Hitchcock pool. A GoFundMe account established for Olympio says he was underwater without oxygen for nearly half an hour and a dive team recovered him.

On June 11, an anonymous caller reported another male victim drowning at the pool. The Omaha Fire Department found the victim, who is now in critical condition.

Omaha Police Officer Chris Gordon is concerned about a pattern he's seeing: groups of people going into the pool after-hours, through fences or locked gates.

"I think it's a matter of safety. If you're an inexperienced swimmer or if you're with a group that not everybody can swim the best, you're putting yourselves at risk by making bad decisions by sneaking into these places," Gordon said.

Right now, the pool has no cameras but Gordon has ideas for protecting the pool against trespassers.

"I think, when it comes to locking facilities, you always want the best fencing available in well-lit areas, especially at night, even if it runs the budget up a little bit to run lights on; even if there's motion-sensing cameras that could set off an alarm, that could be helpful in at least deterrence," Gordon said.

How is Pedro doing?

The GoFundMe page says that it's unknown how long he'll need to be hospitalized.

What is known?

He's on the hearts and minds of those closest to him.

"It's just, like, surprising because you'll see them one day, just remember always seeing him at lunch, and him sitting at our table being happy. To not be able to see him again, or have contact, it feels off — just like something's missing in your life," Smith said.

3 News Now reached out to Omaha Parks and Recreation. The Director says Omaha police will increase patrols to stop trespassers.

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