Choosing to cool off in Florida is normal, but getting trapped inside a cooler is another story altogether.
Five-year-old Nicholas Wanes of Pompano Beach found himself stuck inside such a container when its top closed and locked automatically.
The incident, which occurred Saturday, March 2, triggered a voluntary recall of the Igloo 72 qt. Marine Elite model, according to Fox News.
The boy told WSVN: “When it got locked, I was scared. Like, I thought I got locked in there forever.”
Fortunately, his claustrophobia lasted only a matter of minutes, as Nicholas’ mother, Maria Wanes, “heard this muffled scream” and ran toward the noise, according to WSVN.
The boy’s father, Rob Wanes, noticed sounds coming from the cooler, which he unlocked immediately, sparing his son additional trauma.
“We had just come back from a day on the water … We left the cooler (outside) to dry,” Rob explained to WSVN.
“He was right here in the cooler, curled up on his back, and he was screaming, crying. We yanked him out.”
Nicholas was fortunate his parents were within earshot.
To ensure that other families don’t endure a less desirable outcome, the cooler’s manufacturer has taken quick action.
Igloo Products Corp. released a statement Saturday that read in part: “We are very sorry for the scare this incident must have caused the child and his family, and very happy no one was injured.”
The company’s statement goes on to list safety-related actions it has implemented — including research being done by its engineers and sales representatives.
Igloo also asserted it would join forces with West Marine to distribute free latch-replacement kits to customers.
For at least one Florida family, such a kit will be a welcome open-and-shut case.
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