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