Five-year-old Fiona “Kitty” Carol disappeared from a Kemah marina on the same day that she celebrated her fifth birthday. Kitty, as the girl was fondly nicknamed, disappeared Wednesday evening. Reports indicate she was with her father as he prepared the family’s boat for an upcoming trip. Kitty’s bucket that she had been carrying was found in the water later that day. A Gavelston County dive team, the Seabrook Police Department, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Kemah Fire Department collaborated on the search for the missing child, according to KHOU News. Sonar equipment used in the search was provided by Texas Equusearch.
The search continued through Wednesday night, but the seven hour overnight effort was unsuccessful. Tragically, Equusearch confirmed that a search and rescue worker found Fiona Carol’s body in the water Thursday morning. Kitty’s body was located under a dock in the vicinity of her father’s boat. Police investigators say they do not believe that foul play was a factor in Fiona Carol’s disappearance and death. The drowning appears to be accidental.
— ABC 7 Chicago (@ABC7Chicago) April 23, 2015
According to police, witnesses had seen Kitty playing near where her body was discovered. The young girl’s body was found at 9 a.m., according to Your Houston News. Kemah police extended sympathy to Kitty’s grieving family.
“We extend our sincerest sympathy for her mother, father and other family members,” Kemah Police Chief Greg Rikard stated. “We would like to thank all the police, fire, federal agencies and Texas Equusearch that assisted us during this tragic incident.”
According to the CDC, about ten people die each day from accidental drowning. About one-fifth of these are children aged 14-years-old or younger. Drowning is the fifth-leading cause of unintentional injury in the United States. Children older than five are most likely to drown in natural water sources like lakes, according to a CDC report.
The Mayo Clinic has tips to help prevent children from drowning. The experts suggest that after age five, children are old enough to learn how to swim. Of course, young Fiona Carol had just turned five-years-old when she died. It also suggests that children wear personal flotation devices whenever they are riding in a boat or fishing. After the tragic loss of Fiona “Kitty” Carol, do you think personal flotation devices should be suggested to be used anytime young children are near water, and not just while riding in a boat or fishing?
[Photo courtesy of Facebook and provided by the family to police]