Reporting Mike Hellgren
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Two rescues highlight the danger lurking in the water as many families head to beaches this sweltering Fourth of July.
Mike Hellgren has the unfolding investigation into how a youngster drowned at Sandy Point State Park.
The chaotic scene unfolded around 8 a.m. Monday at Sandy Point State Park, which was already packed with visitors. A little boy went missing in about four feet of water.
“They said, can we get some volunteers to come in because the lifeguards weren’t here yet,” said Randy Watts.
Watts told WJZ his dad rushed in, part of a human chain that formed to search this part of the Chesapeake Bay.
“My dad felt the boy on his leg so he picked him up and said, `Here he is, here he is,’” Watts said.
He rushed him to the shore where a park employee performed CPR. He was then taken away in an ambulance.
“They are well-trained to handle and mitigate any type of emergency and immediately called 911 so we could provide further assistance,” said Anne Arundel Fire Department Captain James Rostek.
The park was crowded with more than 1,000 people; the July 4 holiday is one of the busiest there.
“It was very scary. I couldn’t imagine if that was one of my siblings or anything,” said witness Nasheau Williams.
“They should have their vests on. They should be proactive and stay with their kids at all times, keep an eye on them,” said Deaundra Cloyd.
The fire department could not say how the boy went missing or whether he was wearing a vest, but offered this warning.
“If there’s silence, there’s a problem. Someone should always maintain a watch. If you can’t swim, please wear a personal flotation device,” Rostek said.
This is the second tragedy on the water this holiday. At Gunpowder State Park, a little boy flipped in an inner tube. A lifeguard was nearby and able to rescue him. He will survive.
The little boy was in one of two designated swimming areas at the nearly 800-acre park.