Mom Who Can't Swim Almost Dies in Dana Point This Weekend

She was trying to help her daughter. It was one of two drownings this weekend. The other was a 3-year-old boy.

Photo courtesy the Orange County Fire Authority.
Photo courtesy the Orange County Fire Authority.

Orange County fire officials today warned residents to take extra care around pools, spas, the ocean and other bodies of water after two more near-drowning incidents over the weekend.

The first happened in the ocean in Dana Point, where a 45-year-old woman who did not know how to swim tried to help her struggling 3- to 4-year-old daughter out of the surf and got into trouble herself, said Capt. Steve Concialdi of the Orange County Fire Authority.

She was rescued by family members, bystanders and state lifeguards and was expected to recover after being taken to hospital, he said, adding that the woman's daughter not injured.

The second happened around 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Rancho Santa Fe Apartments in Tustin, where a 3-year-old boy was pulled from a spa, Concialdi said.

The child and his family had spent the afternoon at the apartment complex with friends and other family members and as the gathering broke up, the boy could not be found, he said.

His teenage sister found him face down in the spa and he was not breathing when she pulled him out, Concialdi said.

Bystanders performed CPR on the boy until paramedics arrived and took him to a hospital, where he was in serious condition but expected to survive, he said.

"These happen so quickly, we need to stress to parents (that) they need to watch their children at all times (when around water)," Concialdi said.

He urged anyone enjoying time at the pool, near a spa, the ocean or any other body of water to keep an eye out for others, children and adults alike, even if they are unknown to them.

"Everyone needs to take responsibility," he said. "We need everybody to be watching the water because this happens too often and every single one of them is 100 percent preventable."

Concialdi also stressed the importance of learning CPR and said that when a child goes missing, the first place to look should be in the water if there is any nearby.

In all cases when victims survived, someone was there to administer CPR, he said.

Last weekend, a 6-year-old Mission Viejo girl nearly drowned when she and her younger sister were left unattended by their home's pool on June 1. She was hospitalized in critical condition and was on a ventilator, the captain said.

Less than two hours earlier, a 3-year-old boy was found at the bottom of a swimming pool at a condominium complex in Irvine. His father pulled him out and the boy was taken a hospital, where he was found to have fluid in his lungs, Concialdi said.

Those incidents, along with warnings of the need to be vigilant, received wide media play on Monday, Concialdi said, but that same day, a 4-year- old girl was rescued from drowning in the pool of her Yorba Linda home by her older sister. The girl's father administered CPR before the child was taken to a hospital, where she was in moderate condition.

There have been eight drownings and 11 near-drownings in Orange County so far this year.

By this time in 2013, there were 13 near-drownings and six drownings, Concialdi said.

There were 37 drowning deaths and 36 near-drowning cases in Orange County in 2013, he said.

Some of the people who survived "had severe neurological damage," Concialdi said.

--City News Service

Eric Groos June 09, 2014 at 02:17 PM
Being a ocean lifeguard, aquatic instructor and owning a sailboat for many decades. You realize people don't understand how dangerous a body of water can be. It only takes 3 inch of water to drown. The scare part is it is a silent death. With little instruction you can teach even a infant to swim but no one is water proof. Always swim with a buddy. www.facebook.com/greatopportunities
MFriedrich June 09, 2014 at 02:54 PM
YMCA. Shallow end. Cordoned off Kiddy Pool side. About 10 to 12 kids on the water. 6 to 7 parents eagle-eyeing that area, right? Nope. I mean, come on, you gotta to answer all those texts on the iPhone! Three year old girl gets yanked out by 17 year old lifeguard in front of all of the parents and started CPR, kid threw up water and McDonalds french fries on the side of the pool. A lot of screaming and "OMG!s". And you would not believe the looks on all those parents faces. They were angry at the life guard. Yet, they didn't know what the f was going on. Sure, treat a body of water like it's a babysitter....at your peril.
Bella June 09, 2014 at 09:18 PM
What are the last names of these parents? That will tell a lot. Certain people don't watch their kids. I was out in public and watched this 2 year old kick and rip a sign inside the restaurant. The mother just stood there like a moron. The manager of the place should have thrown them out because the 2 year old was screaming and grabbing other people's food.
GreenInOC June 15, 2014 at 05:41 PM
I think her last name is "Bella". What doest that tell you?
Morgan June 26, 2014 at 04:41 PM
What does her last name have to do with it?


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