More Forensics on North Baltimore Aquatic Club Swimmer Louis Lowenthal’s October 2012 Drowning

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In a comment thread at Tony Austin’s Southern California Aquatics blog, Austin offers additional and valuable speculation on the chain of events in the Louis Lowenthal death. Yesterday I pointed to the main post, The comments are at

The money passage (in Austin’s response to a reader’s question):

If you satellite view the Meadowbrook Aquatic & Fitness center at Google, look to the left of the LCM pool and you will see a building that houses the indoor pool. An opaque curtain separates the indoor on the left from the outdoor pool to the right.

When workout was over; (and this is how I understood it), Louis went under the curtain to the long course pool and began swimming unsupervised. The lifeguard at the indoor pool could not see that Louis had done this for an opaque curtain obfuscated his view of the LCM pool. Believing that everyone left the indoor pool area the lifeguard left the indoor pool and went inside since his “shift” was seemingly over.

Some time later in the LCM pool Louis was found near dead. I was told he was underwater for about 8-12 minutes, but the autopsy report is so vicious I presume he was underwater much longer than that.

Why do I say “valuable speculation”? Because a kid is dead, and both the swim club and its Meadowbrook Aquatic Center facility have clammed up for most of four months. The Baltimore Sun is skimming the surface, at best. The national swimming media are missing in action. Locally, swimming families are scared — scared for the safety of their children and scared of the powerful and vindictive club leaders: chief executive Bob Bowman and operations manager John Cadigan. Across the country, swimming families are in the dark; no doubt, very few are even aware of this grisly and needless fatality at the nation’s most celebrated program.


Irv Muchnick

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Concussion Inc. - Author Irvin Muchnick