Parents of Carver Lake drowning victim speak out

- Anita Miller and Kendrick Jordan Sr. say they will never forget the images of doctors and hospital staff making the call to stop CPR.

“It was horrible, never wish it upon anybody would have to go through this with any child, especially at such a young age,” said Miller.

On Saturday, their five-year-old son, Kendrick Jr., a tiny package of non-stop energy, died by drowning at Carver Lake Park in Woodbury, Minn.

“He wanted to do everything,” said Jordan. “Play ten different sports, dance, do it all. He was going somewhere. He had such a bright future.”

The youngster went with a family friend to the park.

Miller and Jordan recall sending Kendrick off with his life jacket that they insist he always wore, but for some reason on this occasion he didn’t have it on.

It’s not clear exactly what happened, but Fox 9 learned the popular swimming beach at the park has no lifeguards on duty.

“At a lake like that, I don’t know, I just feel like right now with lifeguards - I feel they are very necessary,” said Jordan.

Almost ten years ago, Woodbury transitioned Carver Lake from a fee-based entry system into a free swim spot and elected for budget reasons not to staff it with lifeguards. It’s a similar funding issue for more and more communities and public entities.

It’s not entirely clear if lifeguards would have made a difference for little Kendrick when he immediately went under, but his parents believe they probably would have helped recover the child more quickly.

A witness, who helped find the five-year old, told Fox 9 he was in deep water, tangled in weeds about 30 to 40 feet out from shore.

“I feel like if there are no lifeguards present, these people aren’t going to know what to do in a situation like that, but panic and who knows how long it takes for police to arrive?” said Jordan.

The family is raising money for funeral costs. For more information, click here.

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