Grand Island is a major city in Nebraska. In fact, nearly 50,000 people live in the city and nearly 85,000 live within the greater metro area. Aside from being highly populated, Grand Island is the county seat of Hall County Nebraska and the site of Nebraska State Fair. Grand Island is the home of numerous tourist attractions including attractions focusing in on the “prairie pioneer”, the natural beauty of the Platte River, agricultural tourism, golf courses, and ample shopping opportunities. Aside from these attractions, the city also prominently features the Island Oasis Water Park.
Unfortunately it is the Island Oasis Water Park that was the site of a weekend tragedy. The weekend the park unfortunately saw its first fatal drowning in more than 21 years of operation. Speaking to his town and the public at large Grand Island’s mayor stated, “I speak today as a mayor, but also, and probably more importantly, as a father — there simply are no words that can ease the pain that the parents, family and friends of this young girl are feeling. No parent should have to go through this type of pain.” Indeed, no parent should have to contend with a loss of this type, but amusement park and water park injuries can strike at any time. In light of such risks the mayor urged others to “…unite and uplift this family in their thoughts and prayers and let them know it isn’t just the staff of the city of Grand Island that wishes to express our condolences, but all of Grand Island.” We also send our wishes and prayers to all family and friends affected by this tragedy.
A 5-year-old Lincoln girl died Saturday afternoon at Island Oasis Water Park in Grand Island.
In a shocking tragedy, a five-year-old girl died last Saturday while swimming in a wave pool located at he the Oasis Water Park in Grand Island Nebraska. According to officials the park was fully staffed by trained lifeguards. While some suggested that crowds may have obscured the child in the wave pool, authorities indicate that the park was less than half-filled. Therefore, a concentration of guests that caused the child to be concealed from the view of lifeguards and park staff is fairly unlikely.
Further lending support to the view that the young girl was not likely concealed from view during the tragic events, officials have also revealed that the wave pool was not actively producing waves at the time of the drowning. The wave pool operates on ten minute cycles that alternate between rough and still waters.
Investigators are still looking into the exact factors and circumstances that led to the drowning.
Mayor Praises Emergency Response & Park Safety While Mourning Loss of Promising Young Girl
The mayor stated that the Grand Island Fire department responded immediately and appropriately to the calls for help coming from the water park. Furthermore the mayor also praised “the St. Francis [Hospital] staff and everybody involved in their efforts to try and save this girl. “The mayor also complimented the efforts made by the Island Oasis staff and city Parks and Recreation staff.
The mayor also stated that he had met with water park staff following the close of the park on Saturday evening. At the meeting he expressed his appreciation to staff members for the things they do, actions they take, and protocol they follow. He recalled that, “There weren’t many dry eyes when we left there (Saturday) night.” He then expanded on his earlier calls for community support and asked the community, “I’m also asking for everyone to keep the staff of Island Oasis in their thoughts and prayers as well, because they, too, are hurting.”
He closed the meeting by stating that a death investigation is underway at the county coroner’s office. The mayor stated that further details regarding the death will be released as they become available. In the interim, let us take what the mayor has asked to heart and keep the family, friends, water park staff members, and all affected individuals in our thoughts and prayers.