A Niceville-area toddler was medivaced via helicopter to Pensacola after a near-drowning incident on a lake in the Rocky Bayou Country Club Estates on Wava Ave Saturday afternoon. 

East Niceville Fire Department responded to the call and was supported by North Bay Fire Department’s Advanced Life Support unit soon after, according to Niceville Fire Chief Tommy Mayville. 

According to Buddy Wilson, Captain from East Niceville Fire, the toddler was transported by ground to Twin Cities ER by East Niceville Fire and Okaloosa County EMS.  From there, the toddler was airlifted to a Pensacola hospital. 

As of yesterday, the toddler was still alive, according to Mayville – but their condition is unknown. 

Memorial Day typically serves as the beginning of the summer season and means the beginning of more frequent drowning calls. The number one cause of death for children between the ages of 1-4 in Florida is drowning, according to Florida Department of Health Deputy Secretary Dr. Kenneth Scheppke in a statement released by the Florida Governor’s Office this weekend. 

According to the Florida Department of Health, there are several actions you can take to reduce the risk of drowning for children.

  • Ensuring children are supervised in and around bodies of water.
  • Engaging in swim lessons.
  • Learning CPR.
  • Making sure pool barriers and gates meet state law requirements.
  • Following life jacket laws and ensuring life jackets are properly fitted.
  • Checking local conditions 

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