It’s been a wild couple of weeks for some pool owners in a rash of interesting news stories of automobiles and animals ending up in swimming pools! From horses to heifers to raccoon-dodging SUV’s, let’s round up the herd, and count our blessings that none of this ever happens to us!
Our winter pool covers are pretty tuff stuff, but they do have a weight limit. And a safety pool cover can hold a small elephant, right? Let’s see how they stand up to large SUV’s and large farm animals!
Albuquerque, New Mexico, January 18, 2017 – Vickie Ashcroft, owner and manager of the Enchanted Trails RV park in Albuquerque, witnessed the driver of a red Jeep crash through the fence and end up in the pool. The pool had been closed for several months and is covered with a safety pool cover, which seemed to survive intact. The pool cover in this case could have saved the life of the 20-year old driver, who was taken by police for suspected drunk driving. No was hurt in the incident, with exception to the reputation and finances of the driver.
Apex, North Carolina – January 9, 2017. It probably started out as an ordinary day for a pool owner in Apex, North Carolina but things escalated quickly when she reportedly “hit an ice patch” in her driveway that somehow was slick enough to launch her through the garage wall like Kool Aid Man, onto her back deck, and finally into her pool where it miraculously stopped. Judging from the photos below and video, it looks like the pool had relatively minimal damage and no one was hurt. Strong pool; likely a steel wall pool from In the Swim. The winter cover looks like an ‘el cheapo’, next time use the Polar Protector ;-).
Miami Beach, Florida, Dec 28, 2016 – The previous week a Miami Beach motorist totaled a pool fence, an apartment pool and their own vehicle in a kamikaze attempt to avoid hitting a raccoon. Being that it was a warm, sunny late December day in Florida, the pool was being used by unsuspecting swimmers and even more miraculously than the the previous crash—no one, including the raccoon and driver was injured. Automobiles are oily and grimy and these pools are going to need lots of pool enzymes, followed by a good pool shock.
East Wenatchee, Washington, December 27, 2016 – In a scarier situation, but without serious injury, a 16-year old boy teaches us all a lesson in resourcefulness when he hits a patch of ice, slid 100 feet downhill, and crashed his pick-up truck into a pool. The truck landed upside down, and the teen had enough presence of mind to use the metal bars from his truck’s headrest to break the glass to escape his vehicle. The safety pool cover appears to have suffered only minor damage and the teen driver? He’s just fine but was cited for speeding.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, January, 16, 2017 – Switching gears here, pun intended, a cow was successfully rescued by OKC firefighters after pool owners heard “snorting” coming from their pool. A crane was brought in to remove the heavy heifer. The cow and pool were uninjured and it’s unclear if the cow was trying to “jump over the pool”. 1500 lbs of cow, thrashing around on sharp hooves completely destroys vinyl pool liners. The safety cover on this pool, seen behind the firefighter, likely also suffered substantial damage.
Auburn, Washington, January 12, 2017 – a horse was rescued from a freezing cold swimming pool after being extracted with a tractor. The pool owners attempted to save the equestrian swimmer in vain for about 45 minutes before calling in the KCFD #44 (Mountain View Fire & Rescue / Black Diamond Fire Dept) for back up. The poor guy couldn’t stand at first, but with a veterinarian’s help, he soon warmed-up and made a full recovery in about an hour. The pool safety cover however, barely visible in the far left by the ladder rail, likely did not survive the ordeal.
Pool Covers vs. Cars & Cows? A safety cover in good shape can in some cases support an automobile, but put in a ring against Cows – pool covers are going down in the first round. Deer are often sprightly enough to make it across a safety cover safely, with minimal damage to the cover, but not so for cows and horses, and perhaps pigs.
When cars hit a safety cover, typically several straps break but the panels remain intact. Large deer can poke holes through several panels, and cows or horses will likely break both panels and straps. Depending on the age of the cover, and the extent of the damage, safety covers can be repaired.
Pool safety for farm animals starts with good pool safety fencing and self-closing and latching gates. Keep small animals (and humans) safe by using a good pool safety cover, which can even support a car (in some cases). In season, when the cover comes off, you can protect your pets and woodland creatures with a pet ramp or pool alarm.
Thankfully, no one was injured in any of these stories; remember the importance of safety around pools, including keeping animals and automobiles – out of the pool.
Have you ever experienced large animals or automobiles in a pool? Did we miss a recent pool ordeal? Leave a reply below, we’d love to hear from you!
InTheSwim Staff Blogger