By Bob Dumas
The police report refers to the 7 year old girl simply as "Drown Person."
But cloaked in the anonymity of that field investigation report are the true
identity of the victim and the tragic circumstances that took her life. Both
could change the pool and spa industry as we know it.
The victim in this case was Graeme Baker, the granddaughter of James
Baker III, former secretary of state under President George Bush. While she
did, indeed, technically drown, the events surrounding the accident are far
more insidious. The police report lays them out in horrific detail:
The mother...tried to pull her daughter out of the pool. The mother could
not lift her daughter from the pool and struggled greatly. Two persons then
came to her assistance and pulled the girl out by her ankles.
Upon arrival units...were on the scene performing CPR on (Drown
Victim)...(and we were) advised that they had no pulse or heartbeat on the
young girl. There were approximately 75 (persons) on the scene when this
unit arrived. A graduation party was being held at the residence.
Eventually, the report leads to the revelation. It was later determined
that the girl's hip or butt was suctioned to the drain.
On June 15, 2002, Graeme Baker, a member of a powerful, politically
influential family, was the victim of suction entrapment.
Historically, the pool and spa industry has never felt completely
comfortable discussing safety issues. There's a thin line between educating