Firefighters Rushed to Save Boy, 3, Stuck in Pool Filtering System

Rescue crews used an electric drill to chip away the concrete.

September 07, 2015, 7:10 AM

— -- Firefighters helped to free a 3-year-old California boy after he became stuck in a pool’s in-ground filtering system.

The boy became stuck on the pool deck Saturday in the Dove Canyon community in Rancho Santa Margarita, Orange County, after somehow falling into the skimming system and getting his lower torso wedged. The system is used to suck debris such as leaves from the water.

His family used a bottle of dish soap, trying to wriggle him out, but nothing worked.

When rescue crews arrived, discovering the boy head-up, his legs stuck in the skimmer near the edge of the pool, they used an electric drill to chip away the surrounding concrete, Orange County Fire Authority firefighter Robert Frick said. The drilling continued for 45 minutes, until the boy was finally freed.

“He was absolutely elated when he finally got out,” Frick said.

The boy was not injured.

From 2009 to 2013, 33 people across the United States got trapped in pool filtration systems, leading to 21 injuries involving children and seven injuries involving adults, according to a report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

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