Toddler in intensive care after near-drowning at Blue Marsh Lake

Toddler in intensive care after near-drowning at Blue Marsh

BERN TWP., Pa. - A two-year-old Lebanon County boy is in the intensive care unit after nearly drowning at Blue Marsh Lake in Berks County over the weekend, officials said.

The boy, whose name has not been released, was found unconscious just before 6 p.m. Saturday while at a family picnic in the Dry Brooks Day Use Area. 

"Some [family] were at a picnic table, some were nearby in the water. There appears to be some confusion as to who exactly was watching the child at the time," said Chief Wesley Waugh, Bern Township Police Department.

A Blue Marsh park ranger and an off-duty nurse sprang into action, performing CPR on the boy, said Waugh, whose officers arrived shortly thereafter and used an AED and oxygen.

The boy was transported to Saint Joseph Medical Center, and then on to Lehigh Valley Hospital near Allentown, where he remained in the pediatric intensive care unit Monday, police said.

"I wouldn't characterize this as anything other than a horrible accident, but it does underscore the need to closely supervise young children around water, particularly with the holidays coming up," said Waugh.

John Cave, the park's manager, said he hoped to spread the same message. He expects up to 50,000 people to visit the lake over Independence Day weekend.

"Blue Marsh Lake is a very public place. We tend to get large crowds, and it's important at any time to watch your child," said Cave, noting that lifeguards are not regularly present at the lake, and signs across the park warn goers to swim at their "own risk."

Cave also urges parents to have their children wear appropriate life jackets and to swim within the buoys, where the water only goes up to five feet.

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Allentown, PA 18102





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