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Hilton finds 'no defects' in pump suspected in death


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POSTED: Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Hilton Hawaiian Village said yesterday its inspection of the circulation system for its popular 5-acre lagoon, following a fatal accident on July 30, found the system to be in good working order.

Hilton said in a written statement: “;An 8-foot grate with 1 1/2-inch-square openings covers the entire gravity-fed outlet, which requires no mechanical assistance. No defects were found during the inspection.”;

Texas visitor Scott King, who helped pull free 56-year-old William Stock, who was paralyzed from the waist down, says suction from the drain appeared to be pulling at Stock's leg. But a man who first arrived to help Stock and was trying to keep his head above water told King that Stock's leg was caught in the drain.

King said Stock's leg did not appear to have been caught in anything. He said the suction was so strong it took three men to free the 160-pound man.

The hotel also said the lagoon is in compliance with city and state codes and regulations.

But the man-made, saltwater lagoon is not governed by state safety rules for public swimming pools after the rules were revised in July 2002 to exempt “;beach venues, created by enclosure or alteration of natural shoreline.”;

Stock, of Foster Village, was a strong swimmer despite being paralyzed from the waist down, his family said.