A woman died Thursday afternoon while attending an event with children and youth at Splash in the Boro Waterpark, according to the Bulloch County coroner.
Coroner Jake Futch said that Pauline Harden, age 70, of Springfield died of possible drowning on the Lazy River water feature. He pronounced her dead at the scene around 1 p.m. She had reportedly been found floating with her hands or arms on a float but her head in the water.
“One of the lifeguards pulled her out, and an off-duty city police officer with EMT training was there with the same group of kids, or same camp if you will, and started doing CPR immediately, but there was no bringing her back,” Futch said.
He said it was possible that a medical event, such as heatstroke or a heart attack, led to Harden’s death, but that she appeared to have drowned and no further investigation was planned.
Harden was reportedly at Splash with younger relatives during a culminating activity for Camp RAD, a program hosted by Georgia Southern University for youth with disabilities. She was not a camp staff member.
GS University Communications Director Jennifer Wise said university officials were “aware an emergency occurred at Splash in the Boro during an event attended by Camp RAD staff and participants” and that the staff and participants were safe.
Splash in the Boro is operated by the Statesboro-Bulloch County Parks and Recreation Department, sponsored by the county government.
“The Board of Commissioners is aware of an incident that occurred at Splash in the Boro Waterpark today, Thursday June 23,” Broni Gainous, community relations manager for the Bulloch County Board of Commissioners, texted at 3:50 p.m. “Out of respect for the family, we will not release any public information at this time. Splash in the Boro has closed today.”
That notice was also posted on the board’s Facebook page along with the Splash in the Boro logo.