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BUENA PARK : Disabled Tourist Hurt in Near Drowning

October 29, 1994|DEBBIE KONG

A developmentally disabled tourist from New Zealand was in critical condition Friday after he was rescued Thursday night from the bottom of the swimming pool at Buena Park Hotel and Convention Center.

Gary Ross Christensen, 46, was visiting Southern California on Thursday with a group of other disabled individuals under the care of community service workers. He was described as a poor swimmer who usually uses wading pools or spas, Buena Park police said.

About 10:30 p.m., Christensen was pulled from the pool at 7675 Crescent Ave. by a security officer and guests after someone spotted him on the bottom, according to police. Firefighters performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation and took Christensen to West Anaheim Medical Center. Police said Christensen had been underwater for about five to 10 minutes.

Christensen was with Travelplan, a New Zealand-based group that coordinates trips for the physically and mentally disabled, said Javed Nawaz, general manager at Buena Park Hotel. Christensen was accompanied by 11 others, who were being chaperoned by three staff members.

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