Follow Us

CALEDONIA, WI — A six-year-old girl has died following a drowning Saturday evening at Bear Paw Beach, 100067 7 Mile Road.

Deputy Chief of Police Shawn Engleman said law enforcement and fire and rescue personnel responded to a possible drowning call at 5:47 p.m. When they arrived, officials found that the girl had been underwater for an unknown time.

Lt. Jason Hempel of the Caledonia Fire Department said someone was performing CPR on the girl when they arrived.

“Someone pulled her out, and we assumed it was the lifeguards. We don’t know for sure 100% on that,” Hempel said. “They were [there] doing CPR. They had an automatic defibrillator hooked up to her. And so we took over.”

Fire official: Staff responded appropriately to drowning

Rescue personnel initiated life-saving efforts and took the girl to Ascension-All Saints Hospital. Doctors there later pronounced the girl dead.

Despite the outcome, Hempel said the staff at Bear Paw Beach responded appropriately to the situation.

“They cleared the beach. They (the staff) made our job a lot easier and did an excellent job with what they had been presented with,” he said.

Still, the little girl’s drowning death weighs heavily on staff from Bear Paw Beach and first responders. Hempel said that the focus is on providing mental health support to those in need.

A spokesperson for Bear Paw Beach issued the following statement:

Our deepest sympathies go out to the family of the victim and to all those affected by this tragic event. The owners of Bear Paw Beach are cooperating with local authorities in an attempt to determine what caused the accident.

Our current focus is to provide time and resources for our employees who were impacted by this. 

We want to thank the Caledonia Fire and Rescue and Police Departments for their fast and professional response and actions.

Officials remained on the scene to conduct an investigation.

“Please keep everyone affected by this tragic incident in your thoughts and prayers,” Engleman wrote in a Facebook post.


Your contribution is appreciated.

Stay up to date with emergency, crime and police encounters. The Racine County Eye and Kenosha Lens is your source for local news that serves our diverse communities. Subscribe today and never miss a beat. Visit our Police & Fire section to read more.

Follow us on Facebook: Racine County Eye or Kenosha Lens, and Twitter to make sure you get the latest news.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.