According to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, a six-year-old girl died in a tragic boating accident after her mother, who was piloting the boat, accidentally hit her in the leg with the boat’s propeller in an Arizona lake.
Two families in a group of 12 were spending time on a boat on Pleasant Lake when emergency services received a call around 11 a.m. Friday from a family that their daughter had been hit by the boat’s propeller, the MCSO said in a release with to NBC News.
Witnesses said the young girl entered the water unnoticed, the sheriff’s office said in the press release.
The child’s mother began to pull the girl’s father through the water on a wakeboard when he spotted someone in the water and swam to her, they said CNN.
“He and the mother quickly realized that their daughter was in the water and had her leg amputated by the boat’s propeller,” the sheriff’s office added.
The two families had been on a boat since the incident at 7 a.m. Friday, authorities said.
The girl’s family, whose name has not yet been released, took her to the lake’s marina, where first responders provided assistance. She was taken to a hospital, where her death was pronounced.
“We think the trigger may have been that they lost track of who was on the boat and who wasn’t,” the sheriff’s Sgt. said. Joaquin Enriquez said loudly People. “Is that any different than throwing a party at home and losing track of the kids?”
The sheriff’s office said the boat’s owners were experienced boaters and at this point in the investigation they believed the incident was a “tragic accident,” People reported.
“Our condolences go out to the family who are struggling with this tragic situation,” Enriquez added.
The incident is being investigated and “impairment does not appear to be a factor,” the sheriff’s office said.