Toddler nearly drowns at Blue Lake

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A 3-year-old boy nearly drowned Sunday while swimming at Blue Lake.

Emergency personnel were dispatched to the popular swimming location in the Conecuh National Forest shortly before 2 p.m. to find the child, identified as Brenton “Brent” Pauley, being given CPR.

Stephanie Stone of Andalusia was at Blue Lake with her family when the incident occurred. Her son, Michael, was the first to notice Pauley unresponsive in the water after she sent the 19-year-old into the water to find a sunken Frisbee.

“There was a group of boys – four or five, I’d say – bent over in the water with goggles trying to catch minnows,” Stone said. “Everyone there was out having a good time. We were on the beach playing Frisbee when it went too far out in the water and sunk.

“I watched (Michael) as he waded out, and he looked back and said, ‘Is that boy OK?’ He was just floating on his back. I jumped up because it didn’t look right and started yelling, ‘Whose little boy is that over there?’

“That’s when the dad said, ‘Oh my God,’ and jumped in and beat Michael out there to him,” she said. “It’s so sad.”

The boy was transported to Andalusia Regional Hospital by Advanced EMS and later air lifted to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham. Officials at Children’s were unable to comment on the boy’s condition as of Monday afternoon.