NEW YORK -- A 5-year-old is recovering after nearly drowning in a city pool.
The lifeguards present at the time are now facing accusations from witnesses who say their inaction almost caused the child his life.
CBS2's Christina Fan spoke to concerned families.
It wasn't just the approaching storm Monday that created apprehension among families seeking relief at McCarren Pool.
Parents were stunned to learn a 5-year-old boy almost drowned Sunday, and it was a pool-goer who dove into help.
"Oh yeah, that's really scary," one person said.
"It does alarm me, now I feel like I should be more on-point when I go into the pool," said another.
The boy's survival is being credited to the quick actions of Anthony Torres, who saw the child face down in the water and pulled him out.
"I screamed 'help!' And then I submerged myself into the water to pick him up. He was face down in the water in like a fetal position," Torres said. "When I picked him up out of the water, I kept screaming 'help,' and not one lifeguard would come to his aide or help me at all."
"The lifeguards were still up in the chairs, like they didn't even bother to get down," said witness Maria Lozano.
"It's sad, I mean it's a kid. I know lifeguards have a job to do and all that, a lot of people, but that one split second, you know? A child is a child," Williamsburg resident Frankus Gasparino said.
In response to the mounting criticism, the Parks Department issued a statement, writing "Two NYC Parks lifeguards ran to aid the child and administered CPR responsive to a patron's cries for help."
According to a source, the pool was at full capacity and there were fights breaking out that took up the staff's attention. The source says at the time of the rescue, a lifeguard was performing CPR on someone else.
"There are real questions around the staffing model that the Parks Department has at McCarren," said Councilmember Lincoln Restler.
Restler represents the area, and is demanding the agency investigate Sunday's response.
"It shouldn't be a member of the public pulling the kid of the pool, and it shouldn't be any extended delay before CPR is being issued when we have an unconscious child," Restler said.
Witnesses say it took several rounds of CPR for the child to regain consciousness. He was rushed to nearby Woodhull Hospital and is expected to be OK.
The city said it will cooperate with the NYPD's investigation, and released a statement that read in part, their "thoughts are with the child and their family, and we wish them a full recovery."
"Two NYC Parks lifeguards ran to aid the child and administered CPR responsive to a patron's cries for help after they removed the child from the water," the statement continued.
As Westbrook reported, families decided to still flock to the pool Monday to seek relief from the weather. Some said they will be a bit more cautious and aware of their children, noting the vital role lifeguards play.
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