Feb 25, 2016 9:00 PM

Mass. man sues Water Country, saying lack of lifeguards contributed to his near-drowning


BRENTWOOD - A Massachusetts man is suing Water Country, claiming he nearly drowned in a crowded wave pool at the Portsmouth water park in 2014.

According to the Union Leader, Gregorio Ortega-Meija, of Haverhill, filed suit this month in Rockingham County Superior Court in connection with events he says took place on July 26, 2014.

According to the suit, Ortega-Mejia and two other family members entered the 700,000-gallon wave pool and swam toward the deep end without any flotation devices.

Ortega-Mejia, who was 20 at the time, claims he slipped under the water after he got tired and may have been hit in the head by another guest.

He was pulled from the water by a lifeguard when another patron alerted them that Ortega-Mejia had gone under. He claims he was unresponsive and had no pulse at the time.

The suit said Ortega-Mejia was rushed to Portsmouth Regional Hospital where he was treated for a hypoxic brain injury and other injuries.

The suit accuses the park of having an insufficient number of lifeguards on duty to monitor the pool and seeks an unspecified amount in monetary damages.

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