Six-year-old girl drowns at Lake Elmo beach

- A 6-year-old girl drowned in a popular artificial swimming pond in Lake Elmo Sunday afternoon.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office identified the girl as Ghia Vue of St. Paul.

Another swimmer bumped into the unresponsive girl around 1:00 p.m., according to a Washington County official. The girl was in about three feet of water at the swimming beach at the Washington County Park Reserve, according to that official.

Attempts to revive the girl were unsuccessful, and she was pronounced dead after being transported to Regions Hospital.

The swimming pond, covering about two acres, is chlorinated and shallow, making it a popular destination for parents and their young children. However, children ages six and under are required to be accompanied by an adult in the water.

The Washington Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident. The agency has not said whether any parents or guardians were near the child.

A county official told Fox 9 the pond didn't have any lifeguards Sunday, but begins staffing lifeguards for most hours starting next week, continuing through Labor Day weekend — when college students are available to staff the chairs. The pond did have beach monitors and hourly safety checks when everyone must exit the water.

“I just feel like you have to keep really good tabs because there’s a lot going on, and that can be anywhere truly,” said Angela Binkley, who brings her son to the pond nearly 10 times each summer.

Tanya Harris, who took Facebook Live video of responders performing CPR on the child, told Fox 9 she believes the pond should have had lifeguards on duty.

Binkley, watching her son play in the water, said she doesn’t think the park should "take a bad rap” for the incident.

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