Young boy rescued from waters near Bethel Island

A five-year-old boy was rescued from the waters near Bethel Island on Saturday, according to the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.

The call came in around 4:45 p.m. that a five-year-old child was found unresponsive after being in the water for about 15 minutes. Authorities say the child accessed the water through a backyard that was adjacent to the shoreline.

The child was found by a rescue swimmer and was transported to Sutter Delta Hospital. Reports are that the child entered the water behind a house that sits adjacent to the shoreline.

The incident is a reminder of water safety as summer heats up. The delta waterways are swift and the current runs fast.

As the seasonal weather heats up, families are reminded to keep their children close and keep everyone water-safe. Water can look so refreshing on a hot day, especially for little ones.

According to the American Academy of Pediatricians, children ages 1 to 4 are at the highest risk for drowning and many deaths happen when children have unexpected access to water.

Elliot Palmer is the recreation leader at the James Lemos Swim Center in Benicia. He says they serve thousands of adults and children swim lessons every year and, as a father, he knows it’s important to keep children within eyesight and an arm’s reach when near open water especially. He said, "Even if you have a life jacket on a child, absolutely keep them in arms reach at all times."

He encourages parents and families to sign up for swim lessons for everyone in the family. He said, "Get them in the water, make it enjoyable, build your skills."

Palmer said swimming is a life skill, and anyone can learn to swim at any age.

He said, "I think every age group, whether 3 or 65 years old, it is something you should all have a chance to learn and should learn."

Adult lessons are available at the Benicia Swim Center, and instructors keep smaller class sizes so they stay focused on making new swimmers comfortable in the water.

Alice Wertz is a freelance reporter for KTVU Fox 2 News. She can be reached at