Boy, 12, is 'critical' after being pulled from lake
The 12-year-old boy pulled unconscious from the swimming area at Lynn Deming Park in New Milford July 24 remained in critical condition in the pediatric intensive care unit at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford at press time on Wednesday.
The boy, identified as Angel Ortiz, of Morton Street, Danbury, was swimming near the dock at the Candlewood Lake town beach Friday afternoon when the friends he came with noticed he was missing around 2:30 p.m.
Lifeguards were alerted and started an immediate search of the water, where the boy was found a short time later, police said.
After taking him to shore, responding lifeguards started cardiopulmonary resuscitation, which was continued by local ambulance and paramedic crews, according to police.
The youth was taken first by ambulance to New Milford Hospital, then was transferred to a LifeStar helicopter that took him to the Connecticut Children's Medical Center. He has been in critical condition since his arrival.
At the beach, witnesses said fellow swimmers cleared the area when it became apparent that lifeguards were searching for a possible drowning victim.
Several mothers said they were frightened and quickly rounded up their own children. One mother said she intends to make this a lesson for her young son.
Mayor Patricia Murphy emphasized that summer fun needs to be measured against the dangers that can come with trips to the beach or other water sports.
New Milford Parks & Recreation Department director Dan Calhoun said he has been advised to make no comment on the near-drowning, referring all questions to the mayor's office and the police department.
From all the verbal reports she has received, Mayor Murphy said, the lifeguards responded exactly as expected and emergency personnel did likewise.
She said, however, it would be completely natural for those involved to second-guess their performance.
"You always expect more of yourself,'' the mayor said, noting that she is confident everyone did as much as could have been done under the circumstances.
"Of course, it's dreadfully sad,'' Mayor Murphy said.
Police Capt. Michael Mrazik said the incident remains under investigation and any witnesses are advised to call the department at 860-355-3133.
Contact Nanci G. Hutson at email@example.com or 860-354-2274.