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Stuck belly button ring requires fire department rescue for Greeley woman

GREELEY, Colo. — It’s a fashion symbol that can make your midriff look more attractive. But for a Milliken mother, her belly button piercing caused a commotion at a Greeley swimming pool Wednesday.

Lifeguards usually watch for swimmers in distress because of water.

But for this mom, the problem was a drain.

“I walked out and sure enough she was there. Kind of hanging out. Her head out of the water. Her little daughter next to her swimming around,” says Greeley Family Funplex supervisor Braydon Maxwell.

The mom’s navel ring got entangled on a drain in the zero-depth swimming pool, filled with just six inches of water.

“I laid down to stay warm in the water, on my belly, I couldn’t get back up because I was stuck,” says the mom, who asked us not to identify her.

She tried to dislodge the ring herself for about a half-hour, and when she failed, asked lifeguards for help.

“We had a lifeguard get in and try to help her. We tried to cut it loose. We were not able to do that.”

“The lifeguard tried to cut it out. But it was too close to the skin. So, I told him they could call the fire department,” she says. All the while, staying calm and collected.

“There’s nothing you can do, freaking out, anxiety, doesn’t fix it. It makes it worse,” she says.

Greeley firefighters arrived soon after–asking lifeguards to drain the pool, which they did.

“They removed the drain (cover), then got her away from the pool and disengaged it,” says Greeley Fire Division Chief Dale Lyman.

She wasn’t hurt.

“It’s more embarrassing than anything,” she says.

But she has a message that pretty jewelry can have an ugly side.

“Girls with piercings need to be aware of holes their rings can go into,” she says.

“I have been with the fire department 26 years. I’ve seen people get fingers, hands caught in different objects. This is a new one,” says Lyman.

Lyman also says what’s ironic is the recreation center had just completed upgrades to meet federal standards to assure all drains are compliant and safe.