Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

Boy, 2, critical but stable after near drowning

A 2-year-old boy remained in critical but stable condition Thursday, one day after he wandered into a neighbor's pool and nearly drowned. Jeremy Chauncey was unconscious when his father, James, pulled him from the above-ground pool behind their home at 37149 Nicole Ave. Rescue workers arrived at the home shortly before 6 p.m. and found James Chauncey and a neighbor administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to his son, said Zephyrhills Fire Chief William Fenton.

Jeremy was taken to East Pasco Medical Center by ambulance, then to Tampa General Hospital by helicopter, according to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report.

It was uncertain how long the boy had been in the pool before he was found, Fenton said.

Chauncey said he had left the boy to play in the backyard alone, then began to search for him when he had not heard or seen him for several minutes, according to the report.

Chauncey, 39, told police that he saw that the gate surrounding his neighbor's pool had been opened. The neighbor, Robert Daby, and Chauncey share the same backyard at the Fort King Acres subdivision, according to the report, but Daby's pool is surrounded by a fence.

Chauncey walked through the gate, saw that the pool cover had been slightly removed and then saw his son submerged in the shallow water.

An off-duty firefighter who lives a block away responded quickly to the 911 call and tried to help Chauncey administer CPR to the boy.