A 4-year-old girl in Severna Park, Maryland, drowned on Thursday, along with her grandfather, who attempted to rescue her.
Lemuel Kane, 51 was supervising granddaughter Aryannah Wooten and other children swim at a neighbor’s pool on Thursday.
Police say the neighbors let children use the pool when they were not home under adult supervision.
Officials say that the 4-year-old then jumped into the deep end of the pool, but struggled to swim.
“When the kids said that she was struggling, they tried to help,” said Lt Ryan Frashure, spokesperson for the Anne Arundel County Police Department.
The other children attempted to rescue the girl with nearby items such as the pool skimmer, but were unsuccessful, Frashure told The Epoch Times. When they saw that the girl was drowning, they woke up the grandfather who had fallen asleep in his chair.
The grandfather also tried to rescue the girl from outside the pool, said Frashure.
“Then, even though he couldn’t swim, he [risked] great danger and he jumped into the pool,” Frashure added.
When the children saw the grandfather struggling, they ran down the street to get his mother—the young girl’s great grandmother—who then called 911.
Fire fighters arrived on the scene within minutes of the call, pulled the pair—who were both in cardiac arrest—from the bottom of the pool, and attempted resuscitation, according to the Anne Arundel County Fire Department. The victims were then then transported to Baltimore Washington Medical Center where Frashure said they succumbed to their injuries.
Local media reported the incident was traumatic for the children and difficult for first responders.
“Any time that first responders are put in this position, especially when children are involved, is especially difficult,” Frashure said. “It is tragic and unfortunate, and our hearts go out to the families.”
Frashure said the incident is a reminder for parents to ensure that children are supervised by someone who can swim.
A quick search reveals a number of recent incidents of grandfathers sacrificing themselves to rescue their grandchildren.
In one incident in China in 2013, a grandfather had a heart attack while trying to save his 15-month-old grandson who had fallen in a gap beside a 30ft well.
Even after his dying breath, Duan Shuyo, 59, held the youngster up in his “death grip,” keeping him from slipping under. Rescuers later dug the toddler out.
In another incident in 2013, a grandfather drowned along with his five-year-old granddaughter after she was swept away by 10-foot-high waves on a beach in Portugal during a family vacation.
Five-year-old Lara Lewis was playing in the sand when a wave took her. Her grandfather, Brian O’Dwyer, 66, died after diving into to rescue her.
In an unusual reversal, a nine-year-old grandson nearly drowned trying to rescue his grandfather from a frozen lake in Ontario, Canada.
Grandfather Jani Daliyanazlou fell through the ice as his grandson, Stephan Nissan, skated in the Norfolk County conservation area.
The young boy attempted to rescue his grandfather and fell in.
Two men heard their yells and came to their rescue. The grandfather, however, drowned.
“His main worry as he was drowning was making sure Stephan was OK,” daughter Nahrin Nissan told local media after talking to her son’s rescuers. “If anything happened, he’d rather it happen to himself.”