Water park's inspection not updated when teen sucked in drain: State

CRYSTAL BEACH, Texas (KTRK) -- Texas Department of Insurance said the water park in Crystal Beach where a teen was seriously injured has been operating all summer without proof of an inspection.

On Friday, the teen's parents confirmed to Eyewitness News that it was Caden Strimple, 14, of Port Bolivar, who was injured at Fun Town Water Park last week.

Friends and people living on Bolivar Peninsula are pulling for the young man.

"I just hold my boys dearly every night now," said family friend Christina Cruz. "They could be outside playing, and you never know. A freak accident could happen."

Last Saturday, the Galveston County Sheriff's Office said a friend dared him to pull a grate inside a pool at the water park. By doing so, Strimple got sucked into the drainage system.

RELATED: Dare led teen to get sucked into water park drain: Sheriff

He escaped, but suffered serious internal injuries. Strimple was admitted to UTMB in Galveston.

Each day, his father updates family and friends on his condition. On Friday, he wrote Caden was brought out of an induced coma and did a lot of hand squeezing, which gives a glimmer of hope for a boy that friends say is full of life.

"'He loves sports," Cruz recalled. "I know he plays football, baseball. He loves to fish, as well."

As for Fun Town Water Park, the Texas Department of Insurance said its inspection expired in May.

The water park hasn't provided the state with an updated inspection. After multiple attempts for an up-to-date inspection, officials contacted the state attorney general in July.

The Department of Insurance said inspections only cover the rides, not the pool where the teen was hurt. The sheriff's office said it's working with the water park on a solution to fix the grate.

Meanwhile, Fun Town overall is inspected by the Galveston County Health District. Eyewitness News obtained the latest report, which states there were three violations for a hole in the ladies restroom and a couple concerns over the carpet. Fun Town Water Park didn't receive any violations for the pool where the teen was hurt.

To help Caden's family, Bolivar Peninsula has adopted two words: "Caden Strong."

On Sunday, High Island ISD is hosting a fundraiser at the high school at 6 p.m.

Fun Town Water Park is also hosting a fundraiser on Aug. 26. It costs $25 to enter, and there will be a silent auction.

Cruz manages Jose's Cantina in Crystal Beach. The restaurant is planning a fundraising event that starts at 4 p.m. on Aug. 21.

"Today, for them. For us, tomorrow," Cruz said. "Which means, whatever little bit you can help with, God will reimburse you later."

There's also a GoFundMe page. To learn more about it, click here.




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