The CNMI saw its first drowning this year, with a 53-year-old Korean male tourist being pronounced dead last Saturday after drowning on Managaha Island.
A DPS press release stated that DPS received a 911 call at about 12:24pm last Saturday, reporting a drowning incident on the island of Managaha. Dispatch summoned DPS Boating Safety and medics to remain on stand-by on Saipan as the victim was transported by a vessel into the Smiling Cove Marina.
The vessel arrived at the marina at approximately 12:31pm, with two lifeguards trying to revive the victim via cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Medics immediately took over from the lifeguards in doing CPR, as an ambulance speedily brought the victim to the Commonwealth Health Center.
At approximately 12:50pm, the victim was pronounced dead despite efforts by nurses and doctors to revive him.
Department of Public Safety spokesperson Dre Pangelinan separately confirmed that the victim was pronounced dead at about 12:50pm Saturday.
A preliminary investigation revealed that swimmers in the area had flagged the attention of the lifeguard on duty to check on a swimmer. The lifeguard noticed the victim was face down in the water and immediately rushed toward the victim. The lifeguard dragged the victim ashore and began to perform CPR on him while others called 911.
According to Saipan Tribune archives, a woman nearly drowned at the Grotto dive site in Marpi last Jan. 2, but witnesses managed to pull her out of the water and she did not have to be resuscitated.
The female victim was trying to cross over to the main rock before the current came in and swept her into the water. The female victim was stuck under water for about a minute before other witnesses saw her head appear above the water. At that time, one of the divers ran up to call for help.
Other witnesses in the area managed to pull the victim out of the water. The victim was responsive and breathing. CPR did not have to be performed, but the victim was placed on a spine board and transported to the Commonwealth Health Center, where she was treated for lacerations, abrasions, and bruising.