Written By: Jay Olstad

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MINNEAPOLIS - As Minnesotans enjoyed a weekend at the beach, the beautiful weather could not mask what has been an unfortunate theme over the last few days.

 

Since Thursday, at least four people have drowned or presumed to have drowned in area lakes. 

Not included in that number was latest the scare at Cedar Lake Point Beach in Minneapolis Sunday afternoon where a 16-year girl went under water shortly after two.

"The beach went from being totally normal to being surrounded with caution tape," said witness Jenna Bennett. "It's hard thing to see especially when it's a child."

Witnesses say the girl was swimming with friends when she jumped off the floating raft and never resurfaced.

Beach-goers, about 60 of them, formed a human chain in hopes of locating her in the water.

"Complete strangers who didn't speak to each other before we're joining hands in the water," said Bennett.

Divers eventually pulled her from the water after witnesses say she was under for at least a half hour. Paramedics then quickly whisked her away to the Hennepin County Medical Center where her condition was not immediately known.

A Hennepin County Sheriff spokesperson would only say she was with family at the hospital.

While we don't know if it would have made a difference, there was no life guard on duty.

In fact, Minneapolis parks officials tell us they have a life guard shortage, unable to get the applicants they have had in the past.

It is a concern for parent Ahmad Kian who had his eyes fixed on his two daughters as they canoed in Lake Calhoun Sunday.

"No parent should ever completely relinquish their control to a lifeguard. They're kids; they're vulnerable. You have to keep an eye on them all the time," said Kian.

The Dragonfly Story

Excerpted from the eulogy at Abbey Taylor's Celebration of Life Service

Below the surface of a quiet pond lived a colony of water bugs. They were happy, living far from the sun. But they noticed that occasionally, a member of their colony would climb up a lily stalk and disappear from sight, never to return. Where do you suppose she went? wondered a water bug.

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Pool Safety Tips

  • Use the Water Watchdog System to make sure children are always closely supervised in the pool area.

  • Remind kids to stay away from pool and hot tub drains.

  • Never dive into water less than 9 feet deep.

  • Keep gates to the pool area latched.


More water safety tips