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Girl, 11, dies after lifeguard training accident in Huntington Beach

July 15, 2009 |  7:56 am


An 11-year-old girl has died after a boating accident during a junior lifeguard training exercise in Huntington Beach.

Alyssa Squirrell was part of a group of junior lifeguards Tuesday afternoon that was conducting a routine training exercise known as a "speed drop," in which they drop into the water off a moving rescue boat, said Laurie Payne, spokeswoman for the city of Huntington Beach.

The ocean was choppy, Payne said, and when the boat circled around to pick up the swimmers, its propellers struck Squirrell. She was taken to UC Irvine Medical Center and later died.

The accident is being reviewed by the Orange County sheriff's Harbor Patrol. Payne said it was the first fatal accident since the junior lifeguard program's inception in 1964.

-- My-Thuan Tran

See video report at KTLA.com

Photo credit: KTLA