Near drowning in Palm Desert a reminder for summer safety

PALM DESERT, Calif. - Ten-year-old Daneyda Martinez swims twice a day, and says she's always careful. Saturday afternoon, though, she saw what can happen if you're not.

"We all started looking outside and that's when we saw the baby drowning," Martinez said. 

It happened in the pool at the Taos Palms Apartments in Palm Desert. Police say 25-year-old Pedro Rangel was supervising three children Saturday afternoon, when he failed to notice that a 2-year old girl had fallen into the pool.

"She was purple and blue," Martinez said. 

Neighbors spotted the unresponsive child in the water. Authorities say Rangel was intoxicated at the time.  

"He was trying to grab the baby in his arms. He didn't know. Everyone was asking, 'Is she ok?', and he said, 'Yeah, she's fine.' He didn't know. My dad saw that and came running, grabbed the baby and started doing CPR," Martinez's mom said. 

Fortunately, they were able to revive the baby. Rangel was arrested for child endangerment. On the heels of what could have been a tragedy, we talked to a swim instructor about the obvious.

"When you're watching your kids, keep an eye on them and make sure they don't get tired. Kids have fun, it takes a lot of them to have fun, the sun beats down, and they get tired and that's a dangerous thing," Caroline Olson of Palm Desert Aquatic Center said. 

We also talked about perhaps the not so obvious. In a world full of phone calls and text messages, Olson told us it's not enough to just be physically present.

"You need to be mentally present. Keep an eye on them," Olson said. 

The younger and more inexperienced the swimmer is, the more involved -- and close by -- parents should be.

"I think it's kind of nice to be in the water with them, so you're there and watching them," Olson said. 

A testament to the importance of never being too careful.

comments powered by Disqus

Photo Galleries