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Efforts to save drowning victim draw praise

December 15, 2012
The Daily News


For The Daily News

MARQUETTE -Northern Michigan University Interim President David Haynes, during the NMU Board of Trustee meeting Friday, recognized several Northern employees on their efforts to save drowning victim Arianna Alioto from a university pool Nov. 30.

Alioto, 18, was a freshman at Northern who red-shirted her first year on the women's soccer team due to a knee injury. Her body was discovered in the Physical Education Instructional Facility lap pool approximately 30 minutes after a team workout held in the pool concluded.

Katie Thuet, fitness recreation manager for NMU Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Sports, was identified by Haynes as the person who pulled Alioto from the water. He called her efforts to save Alioto "amazing" and "heroic" and said Thuet was one of the "most talented, certified staff members" at the PEIF.

Haynes also said Connor Greer, a PEIF student employee working at the information center that day, assisted in rescue efforts, along with PEIF student employee Ashley DiLeonardi, who, according to Haynes, called 911.

Haynes said Kelly Aldrich helped in the attempts to save Alioto as well.

According to NMU Communications and Marketing Director Cindy Paavola, Aldrich, also a Northern student, was the one who spotted Alioto's body while working out in an area overlooking the PEIF pool.

Little information has been issued by the university on the timeline of events leading to Alioto's death, other than to say a team practice was held in the pool from 4 to 5 p.m. and Alioto's body was discovered at approximately 5:35 p.m.

The university released a statement Thursday which said preliminary interviews conducted by NMU Public Safety and Police Services showed the lifeguard on duty during the soccer practice locked all the pool doors before turning in the pool key at the recreation sports front desk at approximately 5 p.m.

The statement also said first responders confirmed they had to unlock the pool door when responding to the emergency call placed after Alioto, still in her swim gear, was spotted in the water.

Police have said initial examination of Alioto's body offered no evidence of trauma and they do not believe there was any foul play involved in the incident.



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