Girl hospitalized after near drowning at Cedar Lake
Written By: Jay Olstad
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.