Toddler's drowning in lake raises safety question | News
Clearwater, Florida -- The drowning of a 3-year-old boy in a pond at his Feather Sound apartment complex raises questions about safety standards, especially since the state requires fences around pools.
Pam Doering, who lives in the Bay Meadows Apartments where Ayush Anantharaman drowned Monday night, said the tranquil water used to be her oasis of calm.
"When I came out here, it just put it all back in my mind," she said. "It's really sad. Really sad.
But after her neighbor's 3-year-old boy drowned, the water feels different.
"It's still peaceful, but now it has a tragedy attached to it. So it makes me sad," Doering said.
The parents of Ayush Anantharaman say their son disappeared for about 15 minutes early Monday night. The boy's father, Ajit, found his son floating in the lake just feet from their unit.
Ayush was pulled from the water and Fire Rescue attempted to revive him. The boy was then taken to All Children's Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Detectives say the drowning appears to be accidental, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
"My heart hurts. It made me sick to my stomach," Doering said.
The Florida state building code says that apartment complexes "must" fence around their swimming pools. But, at Bay Meadows Apartments, the lake is unfenced and that raises a question: Why does one body of water require a fence while another doesn't?
"… Zoning code doesn't require ponds or lakes to be enclosed by fencing. The decision on those issues is left to the property owner," according to the Pinellas County Planning Office.
UDR Inc., which oversees 13 complexes in the Bay area including Bay Meadows, didn't return requests for comment.
Efforts to get comment from other agencies, like the county attorney's office and victims of drowning support groups, id not return requests for comment.
Doering is not sure what to do, but does have a suggestion.
"I don't know what else could be done. Other than get your kid swimming lessons," Doering said.