Child Drowns at Community Swimming Lake

A 6-year-old child drowned at a community swimming lake run by the city Parks and Recreation Department with 8 Lifeguards on duty.


Two unattended Asian-speaking 6-year-old children had been left at the lake by their father. Both children were playing at the lake and hanging onto the lifeline when one of the children slipped off the line and submerged below the surface of the water. While one child began screaming for help, neither of the 4 Lifeguards situated in elevated Lifeguard stands or on the floating pier recognized the incident or heard the child screaming. A 16-year-old patron went to the aid of the screaming child and brought her to one of the Lifeguards. When the teenager told the Lifeguard she thought the child’s companion was in trouble in the water, the Lifeguard refused to assist and stated the child must be in the locker room. The teenager then went to another Lifeguard and voiced the same concerns. The second Lifeguard then got off her stand, without alerting the other Lifeguards, and began an informal search for the child. When the 4 Lifeguards who were on break in the guard room came down to the beach to relieve the guards providing supervision, they saw the Lifeguard searching around the water for the child. The Lifeguard Supervisor immediately evacuated everyone from the water and organized the Lifeguards to conduct a formal search. The child was located within 40 seconds of the search. Unfortunately, the formal search was not initiated until approximately 10 minutes after the child slipped below the surface.

CPR was immediately administered and continued to the hospital by Fire and Rescue personnel where the child was pronounced dead on arrival.

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