Lessons to be Learned

Every parent, indeed every responsible adult, can learn from Yoni’s tragic death. Although Cathedral Oaks Athletic Club (COAC operated at 5800 Cathedral Oaks Road, Goleta, CA 93117) 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.


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 contact form to be filled in completely. Thank you for your help. It may save a child’s life.

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) 445-2841Web: http://gov.ca.gov/interact#contact;


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