A 6-year-old girl ended up in critical condition after she was found not breathing in a backyard swimming pool in one of three near-drownings in Orange County this weekend, officials said on Monday.
The girl was underwater when she was found by her father who went to check on her and her 3-year-old sister at about 4:40 p.m. on Sunday in the 22000 block of Boltana in Mission Viejo (map), Capt. Steve Concialdi of the Orange County Fire Authority confirmed.
The girls had been left unattended and it was unknown how long the 6-year-old was underwater when she was found, Concialdi said.
After the girl’s father pulled her out of the pool, a neighbor — who works as a paramedic — ran over and performed CPR. Responding firefighters continued the efforts and were able to detect a pulse while en route to Mission Hospital, according to Concialdi.
The girl was expected to survive, but the long-term effects of the incident were unclear.
Earlier in the day, a 3-year-old boy was pulled from a community pool at the Corte Bella condominium complex on Lombardi Aisle in Irvine after being underwater for about 30 seconds, Concialdi said.
There were several people in the pool area at the time, but no one saw the child go under, according to Robin Cowan, who witnessed the incident.
The boy’s sibling was playing with a boogie board and wasn’t aware that his brother became trapped underneath, according to Cowan.
“It was very silent and very quick,” Cowan said.
“The dad jumped in and pulled him out of the water,” Concialdi said. “The child wasn’t breathing. He did a couple rescue breaths for the child and the child started vomiting.”
The boy was taken to Children’s Hospital of Orange County and was expected to survive, Concialdi said.
So far this year, there have been 6 drownings and 7 near-drownings in Orange County, according to Concialdi.
“Children drown without a sound… unless you’re watching the water, you won’t have any idea they’re in trouble. Have a ‘water watcher’ any time kids are near or in the pool,” Concialdi said.
A third person — a 63-year-old man — had to be rescued by lifeguards over the weekend when he was swimming in the ocean near 25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive (map), according to Concialdi. There was no word on his condition.
Last year, 37 people drown and 36 others nearly drown, according to Concialdi, who added that many of those who did not drown suffered neurological damage.
“Always swim with a buddy; never swim alone. 100 percent of drownings or near-drownings are preventable. These tragedies affect families in ways you can’t imagine,” Concialdi said.