A 4-year-old Amsterdam boy drowned Sunday afternoon at the Northampton Beach Campground on the Great Sacandaga Lake.
Fulton County District Attorney Louise Sira said state troopers responded to a call at the state-owned campgrounds about the drowning at 5 p.m. She said state police and the Department Environment Conservation are investigating the incident.
Sira would not categorize the drowning in any manner other than to say that “circumstances as to how the boy got away from under the eye of the caregiver are not clear.” She said the parents of the child were not at the campground. Authorities are not releasing names of the victim or the caregiver, who was identified as the child’s aunt.
The state police and DEC brought the District Attorney’s Office into the investigation to ensure “all legal requirements are being meet,” Sira said. “The death of a 4-year-old is serious.”
She said an autopsy was scheduled for Monday to determine the cause of death, but the results were not available late Monday afternoon.
No criminal charges have been filed.
The DEC said authorities were told the victim went missing and that a search was launched, using volunteers. A volunteer found the boy in an unauthorized area of the water near the beach, unresponsive.
Lifeguards began CPR, which was continued by the Northampton Rescue Squad during transport to Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville. Doctors pronounced the boy dead at the hospital.
Dee Skrandel of Saratoga Springs was at the beach with her husband and witnessed the search and recovery of the body.
“We were out on the boat and we were getting ready to pack things away and my husband, Jerry, saw a lifeguard walking around with a panic-stricken face,” she said. “We thought something was going on and then we knew something was wrong.”
Skrandel said when the body was recovered, “you could hear someone scream ‘call 911.’ Everyone was panicked.”