An 84-year-old man died after being found submerged in a hot tub at a luxury spa center in Queens by another patron when she stepped into the water, the woman's friend and police tell NBC 4 New York.
Hock Ma, of Forest Hills, died Sunday evening after being pulled from the water of the rooftop hot tub at Spa Castle in College Point, police said. It wasn't clear how long he had been under the water or if he suffered some type of medical emergency before becoming submerged.
The Health Department says spa pools are required to be monitored on a regular basis by an aquatic supervisor, though it wasn't clear if any were watching the tub Ma was in. Pescatore said she didn't see staff members walking by regularly to check on people in the pools and that the area wasn't lit well.
Meanwhile, NBC 4 New York's I-Team found the 100,000-square foot spa in College Point has had 28 critical violations at its indoor and outdoor facilities over the last two years, including citations for inadequate life-saving equipment and lack of qualified pool supervisors, according to inspection data from the city Health Department.
Inspection records show the outdoor facility was cited in April 2013 for not having a developed and updated pool safety plan. The indoor facility was cited in April and September over inadequate life-saving equipment and lifeguard chairs, pool overcrowding and insufficient qualified supervisory staff on duty. The facility has also been knocked four times for "operations records not maintained/submitted monthly," records show.
The Health Department said the facility corrected all its violations at the time of the last inspection in September. It has A grades for the food service establishments in the facility.
The agency said it is investigating the facility, including its safety plan, following Ma's death.