Spas and hot tubs make the news headlines from time to time. Some wacky stories, some sad, some just make you shake your head.
Today’s post is our bi-annual round-up of news stories that have spas and hot tubs as a central focus.
Diving right in, so to speak, here’s a reverse chronological run-down of this spring’s top stories involving spas and hot tubs.
Boy, 4, drowns in hot tub after hand gets stuck in suction drain
June 2, 2014 – Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES – A 4-year-old San Bernardino boy drowned over the weekend after his hand got caught in a spa filter, authorities said.
The boy, Cameron Nunez of Highland, was playing in a backyard in-ground spa at about 11:45 a.m. Saturday when his hand got stuck in an uncovered suction drain, according to the San Bernardino County coroner’s office.
Firefighters arrived at the home in the 2600 block of Mercedes Avenue and found Cameron in the spa, according to the San Bernardino City Fire Department.
They freed Cameron’s arm from the drain and pulled him out of the water, but he was unconscious and unresponsive, the fire department said in a statement.
Firefighters performed CPR on the boy and took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
San Bernardino police are investigating.
Hurricane Guide 2014; Shock the Spa and Strap Down the Cover
June 1, 2014, Miami Herald
MIAMI – For hot tubs and small spas, Bill Perrish, repair manager at All Florida Pool and Spa, said super-chlorinating the water and securely strapping a cover on will hold down the spa, protect its interior and preserve a source of clean water.
“The spa cover is cheap and replaceable, and in the event that you get flying debris, it’ll damage the cover instead of the spa,” Perrish said.
Next, spa owners should turn to their pumps. If it is not already bolted to the ground, it is important to secure it in place to keep it from dislodging and to take measures to prevent the equipment from becoming an electrical hazard. [or move your spa pack indoors, if there is a danger of flooding]
“Hit the breaker for all of the equipment and the lights in the backyard in case something gets dislodged, so that you don’t have live wires,” Ibarra said.
Odd Incident Involves a U-Haul, a Hot Tub and a Machete
May 23, 2014 – Statesman Journal, Salem OR
SALEM -Riley was arrested on Dec. 30 after a string of odd incidents involving a U-Haul, a hot tub and a machete.
It started with a house fire. The home, in the 7200 block of Silverton Road NE, was reported to authorities engulfed in flames at 5:20 a.m. Dec. 30. The family that lived there was on vacation at the time.
Later that day, police in the area found an abandoned U-Haul truck on 72nd Avenue that had knocked over a road sign and ended up in a ditch.
According to a police affidavit, a deputy with the sheriff’s office was in the area searching for a suspect for both the fire and the U-Haul when he received a call. Someone who lived nearby was reporting a suspicious person hiding in his hot tub.
The deputy tracked the suspect and encountered Riley coming out of a truck. Upon confirming he was the man hiding in the hot tub, the deputy then arrested him. A machete that had apparently been stolen from someone else was also located in the hot tub.
CHP: State worker tormented women with phony Craigslist sex ads
May 22, 2014, News10 ABC – Sacramento, CA
SACRAMENTO – A civil engineer with the California Department of Water Resources has been charged with identity theft for tormenting two women with sexually-explicit ads posted on Craigslist from his work computer.
The initial Craigslist ad, placed in mid-June 2013, was relatively innocuous: “I have a free hot tub to the person who shows up first. I am moving and must get rid of it today. Call 916-XXX-XXXX.”
Murray was apparently unaware of what Debra does for a living: She’s a cyber security specialist who suspected, based on the time of day many of the ads were placed, Murray was posting them from his downtown Sacramento office at 1416 9th Street.
“I think he knows now,” she said with a smile.
Researching Spas and Hot Tubs before Purchase
May 20, 2014, Action 9 News – Charlotte, NC
CHARLOTTE – You may be shopping for a pool, spa, or hot tub, but be careful.
Stephen Beleau spent time and money making his yard relaxing. He shelled out $8,000 for a Dr. Wellness hot tub from RecDirect.
“We basically had problems with it from the beginning. It was overheating,” he said.
He says he couldn’t get the water below 106 degrees, a temperature the Consumer Product Safety Commission considers dangerous.
“It’s unusable,” Beleau said. Then, he says, the tub started leaking.
Mason City has new rules for residential spas and hot tubs
May 15, 2014, Globe Gazette – Mason City, IA
MASON CITY – Mason City has adopted new regulations and permitting requirements for residential pools, hot tubs and spas.
Curt Sauve, the city’s chief building official, said permits are now required for the placement and installation of permanent and portable above-ground swimming pools, spas and hot tubs that are 24 inches or deeper and located on the lot of one or two-family dwellings.
The new regulations contain provisions for a barrier or fence surrounding the water area and entrapment protection for suction outlets to reduce the potential for drowning of young children.
Deer Gets Stuck in Hot Tub
May 14, 2014, ABC-3 – Palm Harbor, FL
PALM HARBOR – A doe takes a swim in a Florida family’s hot tub then has to be rescued to get out. It was all caught on camera Deputy Timothy McTaggart of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office says the doe knocked herself out cold. “It wasn’t pleasant watching her struggle,” McTaggart said.
After about a half hour, two deputies and a trapper managed to pull the doe out to safety. “I’ve been in law enforcement for 25 years and i’ve never seen anything like this,” McTaggart said. “I immediately responded to just take care of the deer. That became my priority.”
They put a blanket over her head trying his best to keep her calm. When the trapper arrived, they eventually got the doe free by lifting her out of the spa.
Homeowner Mike Wyers says it’s not uncommon to see deer running around his yard and he’s just glad this story has a happy ending. “to see her kind of trot off into the woods, it felt really good,” Wyers said.
The homeowners say this isn’t the first time surprise visitors have stopped by. They’ve found alligators in their pool on three separate occasions.
Man Arrested in Theft of Three Hot Tubs
May 7, 2014, Great Falls Tribune – Great Falls, MT
GREAT FALLS – A Great Falls man sought by police in connection with the April theft of three hot tubs has been arrested, court documents say.
Jeremy Walraven, 37, was arrested Tuesday on a single felony theft charge. An earlier attempt to apprehend him April 22 resulted in the brief closure of 8th Avenue North during a foot chase in which he eluded officers, GFPD spokesman Sgt. Bryan Slavik said.
According to charging documents, three hot tubs valued together at about $9,000 were reported stolen from All Season’s Spas at 1205 Central Ave. the morning of April 8.
Detectives reportedly tied Walraven to the theft through tips provided by multiple confidential informants, including a Crime Stoppers hotline call April 21 that said Walraven had been planning to steal hot tubs from All Season’s Spa since last summer.
Slavik said shortly after Walraven’s initial alleged escape that they had reason to believe the hot tubs were being moved from out of town to an undisclosed location and were attempting to intercept him and the merchandise when he fled. All three hot tubs were reportedly recovered and returned to All Season’s at that point.
Walraven was ultimately apprehended Tuesday at 412 4th St. N., court documents say.
Canadian Ice Fishermen Keep Warm in a Hot Tub
March 9, 2014, Toronto Sun – Simcoe, Ontario
SIMCOE, ONTARIO – Some inventive ice fishermen in Simcoe, Ont., tried to liven things up by making themselves a hot tub out of plywood. They towed it out to their fishing hut by snowmobile, heated it with a wood burning stove and then proceeded to enjoy their excursion and the incredulous looks from other sportsmen out on the ice.
Sad or funny stories about hot tubs and spas – they never stop coming!