LOWELL — An 11-year-old girl was in critical condition at a Boston trauma center Wednesday where she was flown by MedFlight after she was pulled unconscious from the waters of the Merrimack River by a passerby who saw her struggling in the water while swimming Tuesday, according to police.
Deputy Police Superintendent Mark LeBlanc said emergency crews were called to the banks of the river off VFW Highway, near Aiken Street, about 1 p.m. Tuesday, for a report of someone struggling in the water.
An officer arrived to find an 11-year-old girl on the riverbank with a good Samaritan who was attempting to revive her, police said. An officer took over “life-saving measures” until other first responders arrived and had the girl flown to Boston.
LeBlanc said an initial investigation determined the girl was swimming in the river with another young child when she began struggling. A passerby saw the girl struggling and called 911 before jumping into the river and pulling the girl out.
A second passerby then helped provide first aid until first responders arrived, he said.
The girl remained in critical condition as of late Wednesday afternoon, according to LeBlanc.
The identity of the passerby who helped rescue the girl has not been provided.
The incident involving the 11-year-old girl was the second near-drowning reported in the area on Tuesday. A toddler was pulled from a pool by his 11-year-old sister late Tuesday morning, according to the Tewksbury Police Department.
Police said the 2-year-old boy fell into the pool and was pulled out by Ava Jones, and then resuscitated by his uncle Rob Hamilton with the help of 911 dispatcher Rebecca Maccaro.
According to the family, the toddler pushed open the back door, walked across the deck and fell into the pool. The toddler was taken to a hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
Earlier this summer, a 19-year-old man drowned off Mound Street Beach in Quincy on June 6. Multiple agencies responded as well as two civilian divers to help pull the teen out of the water. That same day, Dedham Police said a 17-year-old teen was in critical condition at the hospital after being pulled from a pool during a graduation party.
On June 19, a 1-year-old boy drowned in a pool during a family gathering.
With the spike in temperatures leading to more people taking to the water to cool off, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued a press release outlining water safety guidelines last month. The release states drowning is a leading cause of death among young children nationally and across the state.
The DPH states backyard pools pose the highest risk for children under the age of 5.