IRVINE — A 6-year-old girl was in critical condition Saturday after she was found floating unconscious in a Woodbridge lake.
The girl, whose name was not released, had been picnicking at the North Lake Beach Club with her parents, who are from Whittier.
She apparently slipped under the water undetected by them, lifeguards or the more than 100 other people at the lake, said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Scott Brown.
The girl, who was found face down in four feet of water, was pulled from North Lake in Woodbridge by bystanders at 3:46 p.m. She was treated at the scene and paramedics were able to find a pulse but no neurological response.
She was taken to Irvine Medical Center then later transferred to Children's Hospital of Orange County in Orange, Brown said.
This was the second time in seven days that a lake in the Woodbridge community has been the site of a tragedy.
Last Saturday, a 3-year-old girl drowned in the community's South Lake after she wandered away from a family gathering.
Then on Thursday, a 2-year-old boy drowned in a family pool in Tustin during an outdoor party.
Brown said these incidents underscore the need for parents and those supervising children to keep a watchful eye at all times.
"We are telling them to assign a water watcher," Brown said. "Even though there are lifeguards on the scene, parents must be accountable. We suggest they assign someone to physically watch the water and watch the child from the time they enter the water until the time they leave the water."
Brown said that especially in the hot summer months, people need to know that a drowning "can occur in any body of water: a lake, an ocean, bathtub, toilet or bucket. Drowning is a silent killer. It happens in seconds."
For more information on drowning prevention, contact the Community Relations and Education section of the Orange County Fire Authority at (714) 744-0496.