It is possible to drown in comparatively shallow water and so garden ponds do represent a real danger. It is all too easy for small children to drown in ponds and even adults can run into trouble at night if they can't see the water. The dangers are exacerbated by cold temperatures as illustrated by an accident in the US recently.
Hotel Koi Pond
Firefighters in Lebanon, Oregon were called to a hotel when a man accidentally fell into a koi pond. The water in the pond was extremely cold, just 42 degrees Fahrenheit, and the man quickly went into shock from hypothermia and could not move. He was in imminent danger of drowning.
The 49-year-old man was enjoying a morning stroll with his wife in the gardens of the Best Western Premier Boulder Falls Hotel. It was still dark outside and he unfortunately tripped and fell into the hotel's koi pond. The man's wife realised that he was in trouble and ran into the hotel for assistance. Staff called the emergency services but the manager rushed outside, bravely entered the water and dragged the man onto some rocks. The manager held on to the man and hotel staff covered him with blankets to keep him warm while they waited for the emergency services to arrive.
Fire service divers put on dry suits, entered the pond and helped to walk the man out. The water in the pond was 9 feet deep in some areas. The man was taken to hospital by ambulance and eventually recovered from his ordeal.
The hotel manager was commended for his bravery. It is possible that he saved the victim's life. There had never been an incident involving the pond before.
At least this incident had a happy ending as unfortunately it didn't turn out the same way for a young child in St Louis.
Garden Koi Pond
15-month old Charlie Davis fell into a 2-foot deep koi pond at his home in St Louis. He was found by his teenage brother who hauled him out of the pond. The little boy was rushed to hospital where he was placed in an induced coma but his future sadly remains uncertain.
If you have a koi pond or garden pond, then it is important that you do everything you can to limit the chances of someone falling into it. You can't legislate for all eventualities but you can install adequate lighting and you must ensure that children do not play in your garden unsupervised.