Strangers save 4-year-old from drowning in Stearns County quarry swimming spot

September 17, 2018

Bystanders answered the call to help rescue a 4-year-old girl from a central Minnesota swimming spot, and one of them came to the surface with her.

The drama unfolded on a warm late-summer Saturday in Quarry Park and Reserve in Waite Park, Stearns County Sheriff Don Gudmundson said.

As of Sunday night, Gudmundson added, the girl was hanging on in critical condition at St. Cloud Hospital.

A caller to 911 reported about 4 p.m. that the girl was missing and last seen in the water at quarry No. 11, and emergency responders scrambled to the scene.

In the meantime, the girls mother was yelling that her daughter was drowning. Bystander Nathan Sisk, 32, of Foley, heard the mothers screams and ordered everyone out of the water [and] asked strong swimmers to enter the water and look for the little girl, Gudmundson said.

Jason Weber, of Elk River, was one of many people who went into the water, and he found the girl in 10 to 15 feet of water and brought her to shore, the sheriff continued.

Sisk and three others initiated resuscitation efforts until they were relieved by police, a sheriffs deputy and ambulance personnel.

Due to the quick reaction of strangers, the child had a pulse when she was transported to the hospital, said Gudmundson, who added that the girl did not have on a life jacket.

The park is the countys largest at more than 680 acres and has grown in popularity with swimmers, scuba divers and cliff jumpers at its many granite quarries.

Paul Walsh 612-673-4482

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