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May 9, 1998

A 10-year-old Gilbert boy, who was a good swimmer, drowned in his family's above-ground pool, fire officials said.

Sidney Swenson, who would have celebrated his 11th birthday May 20, was found at 9 p.m. Thursday at the bottom of the pool by his father in the 4300 block of East Santa Rosa Circle.

Sidney's father pulled the boy out of the pool and administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation with the help of a 911 dispatcher, said Battalion Chief Jim Jobusch of the Gilbert Fire Department.

But firefighters were unable to revive Sidney, who was pronounced dead on arrival a short time later at Desert Samaritan Hospital in Mesa, he said.

"He'd been in the water quite a while," Jobusch said.

Family members saw Sydney about 30 minutes before he was found in the pool, firefighters said.

Firefighters and police both consider it unusual for a 10-year-old who knows how to swim to drown, especially in an above ground pool.

"He was a good swimmer, I guess. I don't know what happened," said Sgt. Ken Fixel, a Gilbert police spokesman. "The only indication we have is that it was just an accident."

Jobusch said Sidney became Gilbert's first drowning victim in two years. The last victim was a woman in her 50s who suffered a heart attack while swimming in 1996.

Sidney also was the first child to drown in Gilbert in more than three years, he said.

Reproduced with permission from:
The Arizona Republic
©Copyright 1999 Arizona Republic

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