HUENEME PIER (CBSLA.com) — An 11-year-old girl is in critical condition Sunday evening following a water rescue at Port Hueneme Pier in Ventura County.
Five other people, including the girl’s father, were also injured trying to rescue her, officials said. One of the injured refused medical evaluation or treatment. The other four were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, officials said.
CBS2’s Cristy Fajardo reported from the scene where strong rip currents pulled several swimmers away from shore Sunday.
Dramatic cellphone video captured the chaos. Fishermen also lowered boogie boards down the father as he struggled, with others, to save the girl.
The child was apparently playing in the water when she got pulled by a rip current.
Her father and four Good Samaritans rushed to try to help her.
You hear people screaming on the pier to help the girl and to keep her head above water.
One Good Samaritan is show eventually being pulled to safety by a crab net.
Fisherman Kenny Neal helped in the rescue.
“I got into the water, into the waves,” said Neal, “to pull the guy out from the pylons and try to pull the guy in.”
The father is shown struggling, trying to keep his daughter afloat. They are also shown trying to cling to pylons in the water.
The girl, Neal said, “was under for quite a while. It was pretty scary. And there was a guy next to her who was also struggling pretty bad.”
By the time rescue crews arrived, witnesses said only the girl and her father were left clinging to the pylons.
Crews pulled the man and his daughter onto a harbor patrol boat.
Neal is hopeful crews got to the girl in time.
“She was actually throwing up [water],” he said, “which I heard from a couple of different people and I know that’s a really good sign.”