August 3, 1997 in Idaho

Girl Drowns At Beach 6-Year-Old Found In Shallow Water; Lifeguards Were Off Duty

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Tags:Death

A 6-year-old girl drowned Friday night in shallow water while swimming at City Beach, police said.

Another swimmer found the girl in 5 feet of water about 6:30 p.m. and dragged her to shore, said Coeur d’Alene police Sgt. Greg Smith.

The girl was taken to Kootenai Medical Center where she was pronounced dead. The drowning was believed to be the first at City Beach in four years.

Police did not release the girl’s name.

Details about who the girl was with and how long she had been in the water also were not available.

On Saturday, flowers and a row of rocks marked the spot near where the girl was found.

Swimmers and sunbathers still lined the beach, but avoided the makeshift memorial.

The drowning happened about 30 minutes after city lifeguards went off duty for the day, said Tony Frazier, assistant head lifeguard.

About 20 swimmers were still in the water and another 40 were on the beach Friday when lifeguards posted signs warning people to enter the lake at their own risk, Frazier said.

The beach was especially crowded because of the weekend Art on the Green festival under way.

“At 6 o’clock we announce that lifeguards are going off duty and we pull the stands down,” Frazier said.

The girl’s mother talked briefly to Frazier and another lifeguard Saturday.

“She said ‘That’s my baby,”’ Frazier said. He did not know the woman’s name.

Frazier said the drowning was tough on the lifeguards.

“Since it is our beach, you feel somewhat responsible even though we weren’t here,” Frazier said.

“We’re all a little edgy today.”

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo

Get stories like this in a free daily email


Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus