Teen diver nearly drowns in Disney hotel lake
Story out of Orlando Sentiel
A teenage diver is in critical condition Wednesday after nearly drowning while performing underwater shore restoration at the Walt Disney World Dolphin hotel.
Only the hands and arms of Alan Kringel, 16, surfaced shortly after noon Tuesday when he finished work on a barrier in a lake behind the Dolphin, according to an Orange County Sheriff's Office report.
Members of Alan's four-man crew worried the teen was in trouble, the report states. They tugged at a rope attached to Alan's helmet, but only his helmet surfaced. Members of the crew found him tangled in a rope used for diving and hauled him into their boat, according to the report -- a description crew member Jack Neely Sr., 55, disputes.
Alan wasn't breathing and had no pulse. Rescuers used cardiopulmonary resuscitation and other maneuvers on the teen, and paramedics rushed him by helicopter to Orlando Regional Medical Center.
"It was just an accident. I really don't know what happened," said Neely, whose son Jack Neely Jr., 20, also is a crew member.
"I've never been so tore up about a thing," Neely Sr. said.
Alan, of Lake Park, in Palm Beach County, is an employee of Anchor Marine Environmental Services, a Riviera Beach contractor hired to perform shoreline restoration.
A hotel worker told investigators that during the incident, he overheard members of the work crew shout that a generator that powered an air compressor ran out of gas, according to a report. Workers said they thought Alan panicked when he nearly drowned because air remained in a tank and in an air hose.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating, said William Billard, vice president at Anchor Marine. Billard declined to comment further.
Dolphin hotel officials said they did not know such a young worker was restoring their shoreline. Supervisors check to see that contractors have proper licensing to perform work but do not get involved with staffing, spokeswoman Treva Marshall said.
"Obviously, we were very surprised when we found out the age of the young man," Marshall said.
Alan was certified to dive about eight months ago, and he worked with the company for about six months, an Anchor Marine employee told an Orange County sheriff's investigator.