NAPLES, Fl. - A family is mourning the loss of their 2-year-old daughter Saturday night. Collier County Sheirff's Deputies say Daniella Pantoja died Friday after an older child found her floating face down in the lake at Sugden Regional Park.
There have been multiple drownings this month. WINK News spoke with parents who hope if anything can come from these tragedies, it's that parents make sure they keep a constant watch on their kids.
A parents worst nightmare.
"I have to protect them, I have to be watching them diligently because who knows what's going to happen... it only takes one mistake," says parent Richard Choate.
A family gathering Friday turned into tragedy after Sheriff's Deputies say 2-year-old Daniella Pantoja was found floating face down in the lake. EMS crews rushed her to the hospital where she later died.
Deputies say the little girl was playing near the water's edge while her parents cleaned up from a picnic.
"It's terrible to hear especially from being on a side I've been in a position to do rescues on little kids.
Parent Richard Choate used to work as a lifeguard. He says too many times, he witnessed little kids getting too close to the water without supervision.
"You think well they're in close, most drownings happen out far away and really most of the rescues I've ever done were in close to shore... within waist deep.
"You just think about what could've been done to avoid this versus how it happened," says Kelly Grimm.
Kelly Grimm has a four and a six-year-old. She says both were in swimming lessons when they turned one. But she knows she can't only count on their ability to swim on their own.
"Supervision prevents drowning and the more parental supervision, or adult supervision, that will prevent a drowning more than any swim lesson will," Grimm adds.
Deputies say the drowning appears accidental, but they're still investigating.