Updated: 08/04/2013 8:47 AM KSTP.com By: Cassie Hart
Authorities have identified the 7-year-old boy who nearly downed at a Minneapolis park Friday.
The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office said Keylen Rashan Thorton was found unconscious in several feet of water of the lake at Theodore Wirth Park around 2 p.m.
Nathan Ledesma was playing volleyball with some friends at Theodore Wirth Park when their game was interrupted, as they heard screaming coming from the beach Friday afternoon.
"We were hesitant because we saw a lot of commotion going on and didn't know what was happening. We asked one of the officers and they said, it was a near drowning," Ledesma said.
Earlier, the child's grandmother had told lifeguards that Thorton was missing. So lifeguards cleared the lake and began to search for him. He was found in a swimming area, in approximately 4 to 6 feet of water.
Lifeguards began CPR on Thorton. He was then transported to North Memorial Medical Center.
"We saw the family look pretty distraught and pretty shaken up," Ledesma said.
Minneapolis Parks and Recreation implemented a few changes this summer to help prevent such incidents. They expanded the lifeguard budget. So far they've hired 110 new lifeguards. Lifeguards are now posted at every beach every day, as soon as they open.
Plus the park board set aside $28,000 to cover the cost of free swimming clinics at two beaches: Wirth and Nokomis.They say, the best way to prevent drowning is to make sure kids know how to swim in the first place.