A Theory

I’m warning in advance that this post is sheer speculation about the death of Louis Lowenthal, so if you find that distasteful, don’t read it.

Google Cottonworth Avenue Baltimore MD, and zoom in on the large swimming pool. That’s Meadowbrook Pool. I joined several years ago, and have found it to be the most swimmer-oriented club I’ve belonged to so far.

When the lanes in that 50 meter outdoor pool are crowded, one of my friends does a roughly 100 meter circuit. He starts at the SW corner in the lane closest to the building, and swims North past the ‘island’ that separates the lap pool from a splash area. Then he swims East along the island to the wall, then South until he reaches the ‘peninsula’ that separates 25 yard lanes from 25 meter lanes. Then he turns and swims the same course in reverse. I’ve seen a few people doing some version of that course.

When I saw that the Pool Injury Report (posted by Concussion.net) placed 14 yo Louis Lowenthal’s unconscious body directly to the West of the island, I recalled that some hearsay on SCAQblog claimed that the boy was trying something foolish, and I wondered if he was trying to swim that 100m course underwater. As I recall, the water where he was found is roughly 36″ deep, so if he was conscious, the boy could easily have stood up to avoid drowning. It is also so close to the building that someone inside wouldn’t be able to see over the edge of the pool. As I’ve mentioned it was cool outside, so it is certainly possible that the only swimmers were those in, or leaving, the team practice.

If Lowenthal started that course in reverse, off the peninsula, he would have been invisible to anyone in the 50m or 25m lap areas until he got West of the island, which is just where he was found.

Until witnesses testify about what happened, this is just speculation, but it would explain how a swimmer could be out of sight long enough to black out in that particular pool.

Update 20130909:

Bowman explained what actually happened during a talk.


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  1. Questions Remain After Lowenthal Autopsy « Donal - February 20, 2013
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