A teenager is in serious condition at a Galveston hospital after nearly drowning from being caught in a pump system at a Bolivar Peninsula water park, officials said.

The teen, a 14-year-old boy, fell into an intake pipe at the Fun Town Water Park, 995 Noble Carl Drive, around 10:45 p.m. on Saturday, Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset said.

The teen and a friend lifted up a grate at the water park before he slipped in, Trochesset said. He was underwater for an unknown amount of time before he was taken out of the water, Trochesset said.

“When he lifted the grate, he slipped because it was under the water,” Trochesset said. “After he slipped, he went into the intake to where this pump would be.”

The teen was out of the water and alert when emergency responders arrived at the water park, said Doug Saunders, district manager for Galveston County Emergency Services District No. 2.

However, it appears the teen’s condition worsened after he was taken to the University of Texas Medical Branch. In Facebook posts, family members said the teen had been placed in a medically induced coma and that the incident had caused his esophagus to detach from his stomach.

Family members did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. The Daily News is not reporting the teen’s name because his family did not give permission to report it.

The sheriff’s office did not release the teen’s name because he is a minor.

The University of Texas Medical Branch could not confirm the teen’s condition on Tuesday because of his age, a spokesman said.

The Fun Town Water Park did not respond to two calls on Tuesday seeking comment about the incident. The small park opened in 2017 and features two water slides and a lazy river.

The teen is from Bolivar Peninsula and his father is a firefighter at the Port Bolivar Volunteer Fire Department, Trochesset said.

A prayer vigil was held for the teen at the Port Bolivar United Methodist Church on Monday evening. About 100 people attended the vigil to offer support to hm and his family, said Rev. Valerie Hudson, the church’s pastor.

“People from the community gathered in there because they believe that God has the power to heal,” Hudson said. “We gathered together to pray and to console each other.”

Another vigil is planned at the High Island Independent School District cafeteria on Sunday, Aug. 18, according to a Facebook post shared by the school district.

The incident is still under investigation, Trochesset said.

The Texas Department of Insurance, which permits amusement park rides in Texas and collects reports on injuries on amusement rides, has not received any reports about Saturday’s incident, a spokesman said.

Injury reports to the state are required quarterly. The next reporting deadline is at the end of September.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; or on Twitter @johnwferguson.


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