Last Updated on April 19, 2017

Unfortunately, drownings are much more common than you might think. They are not always cut and dry, and they don’t always happen at a lake or in the ocean. Though many do happen away from home, plenty of notable drownings have occurred right in the backyard swimming pool.

1 – Natalie Wood

This film star famous for her roles throughout the 50s, 60s and 70s drowned in 1981 after falling from a yacht. The circumstances surrounding her death remain mysterious.


drowning accidents

2 – Johnny Burnette

The one-time pop artist drowned as the result of a boating accident in August of 1964. He was 30 years old when he died.

3 – Tom Mees

The ESPN sportscaster allegedly knew that he could not swim when he dove into his neighbor’s swimming pool to save his young daughter. While she survived the incident, Mees did not.

4 – Jeff Buckley

The singer-songwriter passed away in 1997. Buckley was taken under in the wake of a passing boat and drowned.

5 – Rodney King

King, best known as a public victim of police brutality, drowned in 2012. He passed away in his own swimming pool.


drowning death

6 – Jim Hodder

Hodder, former drummer for Steely Dan, drowned in his swimming pool in 1990. He was 42.

7 – Carol Wayne

The actress, best known for her stint on Johnny Carson, passed away in 1985. Circumstances of her drowning in Mexico remain suspicious.

8 – Marquise Hill

In May of 2007, the New England Patriots player drowned in Lake Pontchartrain in a jet ski accident.

9 – Joe Delaney

The 24-year-old Kansas City Chiefs running back drowned while trying to rescue three children calling for help. He was not able to swim well, but he did help one child get to safety.

10 – Jessica Savitch

The anchorwoman was a passenger in a car when the car somehow became upside down in a canal.

11 – Dennis Wilson

The former Beach Boys member and surfer drowned when he was 39 in 1983. He had been drinking and diving into the ocean.

12 – Nerine Kidd Shatner

William Shatner’s wife died in her pool. Shatner found her in the pool after the drowning.


drowning in the pool


Unfortunately, many drownings occur simply as a result of poor choices. Others are just terrible accidents. Keeping the family safe from drownings should be the goal for any pool owner, and sometimes it is simply a matter of having the right resources to do just that.