CERRITOS (CBSLA.com)   —  Authorities said a 40-something man apparently drowned in a lake at Cerritos Regional County Park on Father’s Day.

KCAL9’s Cristy Fajardo reported from the scene.

She said a makeshift memorial of candles marked the spot where the man, a father, entered the water.

Witnesses were devastated by what they saw, Fajardo reported.

The man’s children were there to also witness the tragedy.

Firefighters and witnesses told Fajardo the man came to the lake, from Compton, with his family to celebrate the day and do a little fishing.

Around 6:25 p.m., witnesses said the man took off his pants and socks and jumped into the water.

Witnesses told Fajardo the man was apparently trying to swim across the lake. There were conflicting reports as to why.

The man’s daughter reportedly began yelling that her father couldn’t swim.

Two or three men then jumped in trying to rescue the man. Witnesses said the father was clearly in trouble.

Off camera, one of the would-be rescuers told Fajardo he couldn’t hold on to the victim and he went under.

A female deputy took off her gun belt and also jumped in to make an attempt at saving the man’s life.

“Initial first responders could not find any victim,” said LA County Fire Department Battalion Chief Ken Wiles. “Safety dive rescuers come in and they were able to make a contact and a rescue in the middle of the lake at which time we pulled the victim to shore and started CPR.”

Witnesses told Fajardo the victim was in the water for a “long time” before he was found. He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The fire department reminded swimmers that because the lake is man-made does not mean it is shallow. In fact, the lake is 12-15 feet deep.



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