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3-year-old's death is 2nd drowning in Martin County this month

Tragedy comes after separate drowning claimed 18-year-old's life
Posted at 5:25 PM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 17:46:57-04

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — Two recent drownings in Martin County, including a 3-year-old child on Monday, have again put the spotlight on the importance of knowing how to act, and what to do, when near the water.

The accidental drowning of the child occurred in the Lake Tuscany community west of Stuart.

"(The child) had floaties on, strapped into the floaties, and was in the pool. Her two brothers were in the pool, 9-years-old and 7-years-old," Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said. "Mom and Dad were right there, big plate glass window. Everything looked fine. Apparently, that child came out of the floatie."

One of the brothers went to the bottom of the pool and got their sibling to the surface.

"There was just a gap in there where the unspeakable occurred," Snyder said.

Martin County Sheriff William Snyder outlines the circumstances surrounding the drowning of a child on May 13, 2024.
Martin County Sheriff William Snyder outlines the circumstances surrounding the drowning of a child on May 13, 2024.

The parents brought the child to a nearby fire station.

"Crews had a couple of minutes to prepare for the call," Martin County Fire Rescue District Chief Joshua Shell said. "Once the patient arrived, they immediately took over and put the patient in the back of the ambulance. They performed all life-saving measures."

This tragedy comes on the heels of another drowning earlier this month where an 18-year-old also drowned in Martin County.

Martin County Fire Rescue District Chief Joshua Shell describes efforts to save the 3-year-old child.
Martin County Fire Rescue District Chief Joshua Shell describes efforts to save the 3-year-old child.

"Anytime there's water involved, there needs to be active supervision," Ronda Cerulli with Safe Kids Treasure Coast said. "There needs to be an adult assigned to pools."

Cerulli's team is out to educate and reduce unintentional injuries and child deaths.

"That's our goal and our mission is to save the family, and our community, the trauma in the aftermath of a fatality," Cerulli said.

She said in Florida it's hard to go very far without finding a body of water.

"Whether it's a pool or the ocean or retention pond or a lake, just a drainage canal, all of those have the potential for drowning," Cerulli said.

With schools about to let out for the summer, these recent drownings are a somber reminder to always be on guard.

May is National Water Safety Month.