Child rescued from Mission Bay pond dies in hospital

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A 19-month-old boy who was rescued from drowning at Mission Bay Park last week died in the hospital, the medical examiner’s office said Tuesday.

Farhan Salehi, who lived with his family in San Diego, died at Rady Children’s Hospital on March 15 after being rescued from the bottom of the Model Yacht Pond at Mission Bay Park around 6:30 p.m. on March 12, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office. 

When Lifeguards arrived, they performed CPR on the child until they were able to transfer him to UCSD Medical Center and ultimately Rady Children’s Hospital.

The medical examiner ruled the child died due to an accidental drowning.

Related Link: Lifeguard Union files grievance in change over 911 call routing

The drowning sparked a heated dispatch-policy dispute among city San Diego Fire-Rescue officials and San Diego lifeguards. 

Last week, lifeguard union leader Ed Harris alleged that a change in dispatch procedures led to a critical delay in responding to the drowning call.

The altered policy, which went into effect three months ago, reassigned water-rescue 911 calls to the San Diego Fire Rescue Department’s main dispatch center from a smaller facility used solely by lifeguards. City officials contended that the move was necessary because the latter system tended to become overwhelmed, forcing some calls to go unanswered during high-volume periods.

Related Link: Lifeguard union cites second incident, claiming dispatch routing puts lives at risk

Fire Chief Brian Fennessy adamantly denied Harris’ contention, calling it "patently false."

"There’s been no confusion on the part of … dispatchers, and there have been no delays as a result of this change," Fennessy told reporters during a news conference last Wednesday. " … We are going to continue to respond as one department and not let politics get in the way of doing the right thing for the public we are sworn to serve."

Categories: Local San Diego News