Town of Wellesley hires consultant to look into operations at pond where boy drowned

The town of Wellesley has hired an outside consultant to review operations at Morses Pond, which has been closed since a 10-year-old boy from New Hampshire drowned there two weeks ago.

In a letter to residents posted on the town’s and Police Department’s websites Friday, Wellesley officials said that an “aquatics safety professional,” who was not named, is reviewing the pond’s emergency action plan, staff qualifications, and rescue equipment, among other factors.

“The Pond has remained closed to allow time for the Wellesley Police Department to complete their investigation,” the letter said.

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“During this period the Town has also taken steps to ensure the safety of all residents and other guests who visit the Pond in the future,” including commissioning the outside review.

The letter was signed by the police chief, town executive director, and chair of the Board of Selectmen.

The grandfather of the young drowning victim, Alexander Glennon, commended the investigators’ efforts.

“The authorities have been fantastic,” said John Glennon, of Manchester, N.H. “They told us there would be three months before any results would be known.”

He added that the family is “holding up” in the wake of the June 1 tragedy.

Officials said in their letter that they will brief the Board of Selectmen on the investigation Monday night, and the pond “will not be reopened until any issues or concerns raised by the review are fully addressed.”

Authorities added that an “independent review of beach operations will also be conducted after the beach is reopened, to ensure the intended procedures and protocols are functioning properly.”

Alexander Glennon was at the crowded beach on a hot day with his father, his father’s fiancee, and some members of the fiancee’s family when he went missing, police have said.

Police said the incident began just before 6 p.m. when a lifeguard approached a woman looking for the boy and learned that he was missing. Another lifeguard then activated their emergency action plan. In addition, 911 was called and more than 60 people were ordered out of the pond as lifeguards began searching in the water for the boy.

Wellesley Fire Department divers found Glennon inside an area demarcated for swimming a little over an hour after he was reported missing, Police Chief Terrence Cunningham has said. He added that the pond was fully staffed with eight lifeguards at the time, and they did “absolutely what they were trained to do.”