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Lessons to be Learned

Every parent, indeed every responsible adult, can learn from Yoni’s tragic death. Although Cathedral Oaks Athletic Club (COAC) misrepresented itself in advertisements as offering a safe summer camp experience for children, and appeared to be an exclusive and licensed athletic club, in fact it was not licensed for child care at all. These advertisements lured Yoni's parents and many other parents to send their children to that unlicensed club, not knowing that it was, in fact, unlicensed. The fact is, COAC employed young, inexperienced day care and water safety personnel who were inattentive, casual, and not properly trained, certified or supervised. What is most glaring is that COAC was aware of this situation long before this tragedy occurred. Had COAC taken seriously its responsibility to properly provide for the care and safety of the young children in the Camp, Yoni Gottesman would be alive today. Instead, COAC allowed lifeguards to be inattentive or completely absent from the pool area, counselors to have little or no knowledge of water safety and proper CPR techniques, and a general aura of malaise to exist among its employees. Had COAC been required to submit to a State licensing review, these deficiencies COULD and SHOULD have been corrected before they resulted in a child’s death.

YOU CAN HELP!

If you are aware of a situation in which children have been placed at risk of drowning in camps or other child care facilities, please take the time to fill out the form below. You can use this form to report problems or dangerous situations at daycare facilities, swim clubs or camps. In order to be able to follow up on this information, we need the form to be filled in completely. Thank you for your help. It may save a child’s life.

Click on one of the links below to submit information about C.O.A.C. or other facilities:

Submit On-Line Complaint Form
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Download Complaint Form and Mail

In addition, you can contact the District Attorney’s office, Sheriff’s office, Attorney General’s office or Governor’s office and let them know that you expect government authorities to protect children and their families from situations like this. It is not too late to do what is right, including criminal prosecution of the people who killed Yoni or who were responsible for his death.

District Attorney's Office: Phone: (805) 568-2300
Email: sbcountyda@co.santa-barbara.ca.us
Sheriff's Office: Phone: (805) 681-4100
Web: http://www.sbsheriff.org/contact.html
Attorney General's Office: Phone: (800) 952-5225
Web: http://ag.ca.gov/contact
Governor's Office: Phone: (916) 445-2841
Web: http://gov.ca.gov/interact#contact;




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Yoni and Daniela