Man apparently drowns while playing with daughter in pool
“Witnesses saw man in pool, then noticed him underwater”
A 33-year-old man died after taking his young daughter to a community pool Monday evening and somehow drowning while playing with her in the pool, authorities said.
Witnesses didn’t see the man fall into the pool or going under the water, but two bystanders pulled the man out of the water after noticing he was in trouble, said Capt. Greg McKeown of the Orange County Fire Authority.
Paramedics responded to the common area pool near La Mancha and Rocinante at 5:55 p.m., McKeown said.
The man was identified by coroner’s officials as Binayak Bhattacharyya.
Bhattacharyya was in the pool with his young daughter Monday when his wife left the pool to get another child, McKeown said. Another female bystander who was in the area also left for the restroom, but when she came out, Bhattacharyya was under the water, McKeown said. His daughter was still in the pool.
Bhattacharyya was pulled out of the water and taken to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, where he died about two hours later, according the coroner’s department.
“We’re not sure what happened,” McKeown said. Bhattacharyya’s daughter was not injured.
Officials are waiting for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
This was the third call of a possible drowning received by Fire Authority on Monday, a concerning number as more families head out to pools and beaches to cool down with rising temperatures, McKeown said.
So far this year, there have been 16 drowning victims in Orange County this year. Last year, there were 32 drowning deaths, and in 2007, there were 40.
At 11:31 a.m. Monday, authorities responded to a home near Eastshore Street and Woodspring in Irvine, where a 3-year-old was swimming in a pool while his mother watched him, McKeown said. His mother was distracted briefly and then saw the boy under the water.
The boy began to cry and regained consciousness while paramedics took him to a nearby hospital.
At 4:41 p.m. Monday, paramedics again responded to the 21800 block of Esmalte in Mission Viejo, where a 2-year-old girl was also found underwater in a pool after her mother looked away briefly, McKeown said. The girl was pulled out of the water and she was breathing. She was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated.
In both of the near drowning incidents, adults were monitoring the children but looked away briefly, McKeown said.
“It only takes a second,” McKeown said. “You could look away for a second and they go under.”
Fire Authority officials recommend that at least one adult is tasked with watching children when they are near pool at all times, McKeown said. This person should not be distracted in conversations or with cell phones.
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