Metro

Wellesley reopens pond where boy died

Town officials say lifeguards not at fault in drowning

Flowers commemorated Alexander Glennon, 10, who drowned at Morses Pond June 1.

Yoon S. Byun/Globe staff

Flowers commemorated Alexander Glennon, 10, who drowned at Morses Pond June 1.

Wellesley town officials on Friday reopened Morses Pond, a popular swimming hole where a 10-year-old boy drowned earlier this month, after finding no fault on the part of the lifeguards on duty and after making several changes to the pond’s signs and safety policies.

The pond had been closed since June 1, following the death of Alexander Glennon of Manchester, N.H., who drowned in the crowded pond while the beach was fully staffed with lifeguards.

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An open letter from Wellesley Police Chief Terrence Cunningham and two members of the Board of Selectmen, Hans Larsen and Terri Tsagaris, called the boy’s drowning a “tragic accident.”

Search teams found Alexander’s body in the swimming area June 1 after his family told lifeguards that he was missing. His family said that Alexander was a capable swimmer.

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Shawn DeRosa, an aquatic safety consultant who investigated the pond’s safety following the death, found that the lifeguards on duty had the proper training and certification and that the pond itself was a safe swimming environment, the letter said.

But officials announced a series of changes Friday, including placing a new string of red buoys to delineate deep- and shallow-water zones in the swimming area, repositioning one lifeguard station, and posting several signs urging beachgoers to keep a close eye on children and to report missing swimmers immediately.

Town officials also adopted a new policy requiring all swimmers shorter than 4 feet or who display weak swimming skills to pass a test before entering the deep-water zone, according to the letter.

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“The Town of Wellesley continues to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Alexander Glennon, and our gratitude to the lifeguards, Morses Pond staff, and first responders who participated in the search for Alexander,” the letter said.

Todd Feathers can be reached at todd.feathers@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @ToddFeathers.
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