UConn student remains hospitalized after near drowning in Stamford pool

Posted: Updated:
STAMFORD -

Police say a University of Connecticut-Stamford graduate student who nearly drowned last week remains in critical condition.

They say 22-year-old Zhaojie Yang has been moved to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York as police continue to investigate the incident.

According to police, the incident happened in the pool at the Stamford Family YMCA. They say Yang and a friend were swimming Friday afternoon when that friend noticed Yang was underwater. He then told a lifeguard who pulled Yang from the bottom of the pool.

Yang is a graduate student from China who is in the country on a student visa. Police have not said how long he was underwater or where the lifeguard was when Yang first went below the surface.

A UConn spokesperson says the university is providing counseling for Yang's friends, and that staff members are helping Yang's family who have traveled to the U.S. from China.

The spokesperson also says Yang is, "very well liked and that his friends have rallied to help his family and each other." She says it's understandably a difficult time for students and employees who know him.

The YMCA's CEO released a statement Thursday saying, "The Stamford Family YMCA continually looks for ways to improve our training and practices for all staff, including lifeguards."

This is the second near drowning at a Stamford pool in recent months. The other was in August at Chelsea Piers where police say cameras show a boy was underwater for more than four minutes before the lifeguard noticed.

That lifeguard now faces criminal charges. Police say unlike that case, there are no cameras at Stamford Family YMCA pool.

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