Man Drowns in Southern California Lake During Father's Day Picnic: Officials

Witnesses said the victim had been drinking with a couple of other men

A man drowned in a small fishing lake at a Southern California park during a Father’s Day picnic with his family, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.

The drowning occurred Sunday evening at Cerritos Regional Park in the 19000 block of Bloomfield Avenue in Cerritos (map), officials said.

Witnesses said the victim, a man in his 30s, had been drinking with a couple of other men. One of them had returned from a swim and challenged the victim to swim across the man-made lake and back. The victim, who family members said was not a good swimmer, jumped into the water.

As the victim panicked, bystanders jumped in to try to pull him out of the lake, but were unable to, witnesses said.

A 911 call was placed about 6:30 p.m. after the man did not return to land, fire officials said. Responding firefighters and sheriff’s deputies jumped into the lake in search of the man.

The victim's body was recovered more than an hour later, officials said. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Fire officials said the fishing lake, which is about 12- to 15-feet deep, was not designed for swimming.

Homicide investigators said there was no evidence of foul play.

Investigators said they were reviewing video taken by witnesses.

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