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‘The Pool is Caving In’ – Condo Collapse Victim Told Husband

Were pool leaks a sign of major structural damage?

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Champlain Towers Collapse - The Pool Is Sinking Said Victim to Husband on Phone before Collapse

It’s been a few days since the tragic collapse of an entire section of The Champlain Tower, a residential condominium near Miami, Florida. Workers and rescuers are still sifting through the rubble and trying desperately to reach any survivors who may still be trapped. Officials and engineers are still trying to isolate the direct cause of the failure and find out exactly what caused the deadly incident.

Ashley Dean awaits along with many other families to hear the ultimate fate of her little sister Cassie Stratton. In a recent interview with Sky News, Dean revealed the exact nature of the last conversation Stratton had with her husband Michael Stratton immediately before the building collapsed and the call was cut off. The haunting words of Ashley Dean convey the deep sadness and frustration the families who await the news of the fate of their loved ones feel.

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Cassie Stratton was on the phone with her husband Michael Stratton when the incident occured.

‘The Pool Is Caving In’ victim told Husband

Dean says at precisely 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning, her sister Cassie was speaking with her husband Michael Stratton on her balcony. Dean said, “She was on the phone with her husband and it was a little after 1 in the morning and she says ‘Honey, the pool (deck) is caving in. The pool (decks) sinking in.’ and he said ‘What are you talking about?’; ‘The pool (deck)… it’s sinking in the ground. The ground is shaking, everything is shaking. Then she screamed a death curdling scream and the phone hung up and we’ve never been able to find her ever again.”

As of June 27th, we’ve updated this report to reflect that it was at first incorrectly reported that Cassondra Stratton saw the swimming pool cave in; it was the pool deck she actually saw caving in, not the actual swimming pool itself.

Her haunting story is merely one of many as over 159 people still remain unaccounted for in Thursdays tragedy. FEMA will be providing additional aid to the disaster site. Governor Rick DeSantis declared a state of emergency in Miami-Dade county on Thursday, which allowed President Biden to approve emergency FEMA aid.

This photo provided by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, an extensive search and rescue operation is still underway to recover survivors.

The official death toll now stands at 4 people, with 120 people accounted for. An investigation is ongoing and rescuers are still frantically working to reach any survivors who may still be trapped underneath debris.

Experts are worried about the structural integrity of surrounding buildings in the local area. A 2018 report found numerous structural problems in The Champlain Towers building which required immediate repairs. The condo has been applying for recertification while it was attempting to address issues of a water leak from the pool area into the garage.

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“There was standing water all over the parking garage,” a contractor, who asked not to be named, told the Miami Herald. The pool contractor mentioned cracking concrete and severely corroded rebar under the pool. (Updated June 28th, 2021)

A commercial Pool Contractor shared photos of the state of the pool equipment room at the Champlain Towers. These photos were taken 2 days before the incident occured. – Photo Credit: Miami Herald

Were Pool Leaks A Sign of Major Structural Damage?

The Champlain Towers Pool Area was reportedly leaking into the garage area and was going to cost millions in repairs.

Solving the leak however reportedly involved major work and would have cost millions of dollars. The recertification The Champlain Towers was undergoing was part of a standard process for similar buildings of it’s age. A law was put into place in 1974 after a similar collapse occurred at the DEA Building which killed 7 people.

An engineer named Frank Morabito of Surfside, FL conducted a survey on the building in 2018 and told the New York Times that the waterproofing below the pool deck and entrance drive was failing, “causing major structural damage to the concrete structural slab below these areas.” His report indicated that “failure to replace the waterproofing in the near future will cause the extent of the concrete deterioration to expand exponentially.”

“My sister told me about all sorts of water leaks and people on her roof with heavy equipment,” said Dean, whose hope that her sister might remain alive is quickly fading with each day that passes. “I have to be realistic; my baby is gone, my baby sister is gone.” said Dean who expressed frustration and anger in addition to her grief.

“I want to know how this could happen and who is responsible? She was living in a dream place but it was a death trap.” said Dean.

Her words echo the sentiment of many other families who want to know how such a thing could have occured and what will be done to prevent future tragedies such as the one which occured at The Champlain Towers.

Barry Cohen, a resident of the building, escaped with his wife and described cracks around the pool deck prior to the collapse. He wonders whether neighboring construction may have caused vibrations that might have weakened Champlain Towers.

Recovery operations are expected to take weeks and the complete story of what caused the collapse and who may be responsible is still unfolding.

Featured Photo Credit: ABC News

5/5 - (11 votes)

Editor in Chief of Pool Magazine - Joe Trusty is also CEO of PoolMarketing.com, the leading digital agency for the pool industry. An internet entrepreneur, software developer, author, and marketing professional with a long history in the pool industry. Joe oversees the writing and creative staff at Pool Magazine. To contact Joe Trusty email info@poolmagazine.com or call (916) 467-9118 during normal business hours. For submissions, please send your message to submissions@poolmagazine.com

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Famous Pool Painting Becomes Most Expensive Painting Ever Sold

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Famous Pool Painting Becomes Most Expensive Painting Ever Sold

The current record for most expensive painting ever sold by a living artist belongs to David Hockney. His Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) recently sold for $90,312,500 at an auction conducted by Christie’s. The record-breaking painting is the single most expensive piece of artwork ever sold; that is by an artist that’s still breathing.

Hockney described himself once as “cooler than Warhol, more enduring than Lucien Freud.” The British native made a name for himself in the 1960’s after relocating to Los Angeles. It was in L.A. that he created some of his best known work, paintings featuring realistic depictions of swimming pools and Hollywood architecture.

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Hockney first visited California in January 1964, following a successful first solo exhibition at the John Kasmin gallery. The United States captivated him, particularly Los Angeles, owing to the impact of its modern buildings and Hollywood in general.

The swimming pool was a constant topic in Hockney’s paintings after he created California Art Collector in 1964, including Peter Getting Out of Nick’s Pool (1966, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool), and most memorably A Bigger Splash (1967, Tate Gallery). Between 1968 and 1977, he created a number of double portraits, such as American Collectors (Fred and Marcia Weisman) (1968, Art Institute of Chicago), Mr. and Mrs. Clark, and Percy (1971, Tate Gallery).

The swimming pool and the double portrait, two of Hockney’s subjects from his paintings from the late 1960s and early 1970s, are combined in the piece ‘Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)’. It shows a man swimming breaststroke underwater while wearing white trunks, while another is shown standing at the pool’s edge wearing full clothing and gazing down at the swimmer. The scene of the artwork is southern France, close to Saint-Tropez. With a view of hills covered in trees in the backdrop, the foreground is flattened and simplified in typical Hockney fashion.

A chance meeting of two photographs—one of a man swimming underwater, shot in California in 1966, and the other of a man standing and staring at the ground—that Hockney saw on his studio floor served as the inspiration for the composition. When compared, it seemed as though the person standing was staring at the swimmer.

Hockney said of the painting, “I must admit I loved working on that picture, […] working with such intensity; it was marvelous doing it, really thrilling”

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The sale history of that particular painting is interesting in itself. In 1972, James Astor and his wife purchased the picture for $18,000, which would be worth $117,000 in 2021. It was sold again six months later for $50,000, which would be $324,000 in 2021. American billionaire David Geffen bought it in 1983, then in 1995, he sold it to British billionaire Joe Lewis for an undisclosed sum.

When asked by CBC Radio, why Hockney started painting swimming pools, he replied:

‘In England, a swimming pool would have been seen as a sign of luxury, because the climate in England is not very good for outdoor pools. But in Southern California, it’s not — they’re simply everywhere because you can enjoy them year-round.’

‘The first place I lived, I rented a small apartment with an outdoor swimming pool. I mean, I didn’t own the pool, but nevertheless it was there.’

4.8/5 - (21 votes)

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Infinity Pool Collapse Injures Guests

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Infinity Pool Collapse Injures Guests

An infinity pool collapsed and injured a newlywed couple at a luxury Caribbean resort hotel. Reports indicate that the swimming pool collapsed unexpectedly, leading them to be swept out to sea.

Jelizaveta and Gavin Jones of Colindale, London, were on their $13,000 honeymoon at the five-star Sandals Royal Curaçao hotel when the incident occurred. Curaçao police claimed at least 12 people were injured, including the bride, who sustained ‘horrific injuries’ when the walls of the sea-facing pool caved in on Thursday.

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Jelizaveta Jones, 29, reportedly sustained ‘horrific injuries’ when the infinity pool at the Sandals Royal Curaçao hotel suddenly collapsed as she was swimming. The bride and her husband Gavin, along with 20 other vacationers in the pool, were washed out to sea.

Mrs Jones, 29, a sales professional for a US software firm, told news sources:

‘I was facing my husband, talking to him in the pool. Then I saw him go under first, then maybe five seconds later, I went. I was stuck beneath the water.’

‘I couldn’t think, I couldn’t breathe. It was all happening very quickly, there was no warning.’

‘I was trying to get up to the surface for some air, but the current was too strong. I couldn’t do anything.’

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According to local media, Curaçao police stated after their initial inquiry that the glass cracked because there were too many people in the pool during a party.

‘We’d only been in the resort less than 24 hours and were having a few drinks,’ claimed Mr Jones, 44, a bar and nightclub owner.

‘I was standing with my back to the sea, talking to my wife, when one of the panels in the middle of the pool suddenly vanished.’

‘The weight of the sea carried myself, Elizabeth, and many other individuals about 30 yards down the beach.’

The hotel had just recently opened in June, with one of its primary selling features being a bi-level infinity pool with views of both the mountains and the surrounding coast.

A spokesperson for Sandals Resorts International released a statement: ‘Thankfully, there were only a small number of guests in the pool at the time.

‘Our resort team worked quickly to ensure all were provided with immediate support and medical attention, including an evaluation by local medical professionals and treatment for any guest who required it.

‘There is nothing more important to Sandals Resorts than the safety of our guests and we remain in contact with guests affected should there be any further support required.’

The swimming pool continues to remain closed at the resort for repairs. While the incident remains under investigation, this certainly isn’t an isolated one when it comes to glass panel pools.

Glass panel infinity pool failure in rooftop condominium pool.

Certainly not the first attention-grabbing pool failure we’ve seen this year. The incident was reminiscent of a similar situation that occurred in a 5th-floor rooftop infinity pool in Whampoa a few years back. Officials said that either a design or construction flaw of that swimming pool caused the pool walls to collapse and the glass panels to suddenly give way.

5/5 - (16 votes)

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Tesla Pool – Automaker Adds Swimming Pool To Charger Station

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Tesla Swimming Pool

One of the primary reasons consumers opt to purchase a Tesla is the robust availability of convenient charging stations. Recently, the automaker has experimented with adding amenities to its charging stations. New cube lounges at a Supercharger station in Germany come equipped with automated coffee, food, and more. Tesla is also adding other options and fun activities for drivers to enjoy while they wait for their vehicles to charge. The newest amenity they’re currently experimenting with is an above ground swimming pool.

A clip of the pool being installed prior to launch was shared with news sources.

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The swimming pool can be used by up to 4 people at a time for 10 minutes, giving folks just enough time to change into their swim suits and enjoy a quick dip while their vehicle charges. There are even Tesla-branded beach balls to play with while they’re swimming in the shipping container style above ground pool.

This promotional popup will open at the Tesla charging station in Hilden, Germany; which incidentally is one of the largest in the country with 40 chargers and 8 superchargers. The pool will be open from Thursday until Sunday. Tesla owners can drop in for a swim from 2:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

What do you think about this idea? Is this something you’d like to see in the United States? Sound off in the comments and let us know.

3/5 - (2 votes)

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