Woman recalls scary moments in Wachesaw swimming pool

  • Tuesday, April 29, 2014

This was the scene at Wachesaw East last Thursday. Photo by WBTW-TV 13.

Terrace Cook and her fiancé Scott Price enjoy swimming. That is why they often take advantage of the timeshare they own in Wachesaw East by using the swimming pool whenever they can.

It has always been a great experience, Cook said. That is until last Thursday.

On April 24, according to Murrells Inlet/Garden City Assistant Fire Chief J. R. Haney, five people were transported to the hospital because of extra chemicals that entered the Riverwood Drive pool.

Haney said a chemical dispensing pump malfunctioned and delivered too much muriatic acid into the pool. Muriatic acid is used to lower the pH and total alkalinity in swimming pools.

Cook said she and Price had spent the afternoon with her daughter, Evy Davis, and her grandchildren who happened to leave the pool about five minutes before the chemical incident. Cook and Price remained in the pool for a while longer after the rest of their family left.

“We were planning to go see a movie and Scott asked if I was ready to go. I was walking towards the steps of the pool when all of a sudden there was a very strong smell. Then I saw the water jets shooting something green into the pool,” Cook recalled.

The others who were in the pool were children, she said.

“My eyes and nose started burning. Scott got out of the pool and was on his knees throwing up. The kids who were in the pool were also throwing up,” Cook said.

Ambulances were called to the scene and transported the children to Waccamaw Community Hospital but, because that hospital’s emergency room was full, Cook and Price were treated at Georgetown Memorial Hospital.

“They treated me with steroids and inhalers,” she said. After spending nearly six hours in the emergency room, Cook and Price were released.

“When they were doing x-rays, they found something on my lung, so I have to see a lung doctor about that,” Cook said. Price is not expected to require any additional medical treatment.

The severity of the children’s injuries is unknown but, Cook said, they were also released from the hospital.

“It was very scary. Especially when I saw those kids suffering. I thank God my daughter and grandchildren were gone when it happened,” Cook said.

She said she has had lingering headaches and nausea since the incident but it will not stop her from swimming again.

“I know they have done maintenance on the pool since then, so I will go back,” she said.

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