An apparently naked woman spent nearly six hours swimming in Echo Park Lake on Saturday before police and firefighters called to the scene were finally able to coax her out of the murky waters.
Echo Park Lake is off limits to swimmers. Visitors are able to rent peddle boats.
“Our concern is not really her swimming in the lake, but her psychological state and fear of her drowning,” Lt. Wes Buhrmester of the LAPD Rampart Division told the Eastsider.
— The Eastsider (@TheEastsiderLA) August 16, 2015
They said they were very cautious throughout the ordeal to ensure that rescuers did not “aggravate the situation” which could have resulted in the 27-year-old woman from Orange County drowning in the lake’s deeper parts.
Echo Park Lake is primarily filled with storm drain runoff. Some reports suggest the woman was swimming in the nude.
There was a naked lady swimming in echo park lake today :o
— Christopher Chann (@chrischann) August 16, 2015
A police sergeant was reportedly able to convince her to put on a life vest that was thrown to her in the water, which helped protect her from drowning.
She finally left the lake around 11 p.m. with the help of the LAPD’s Underwater Dive Unit before being transported to a hospital where she reportedly underwent physical and psychiatric treatment.
EchoPark LAPD dive team fishes woman that has been in the lake since about 6pm LAFD to evaluate pic.twitter.com/mnHgcWbwNM
— Kevin Takumi (@KevinTakumi) August 16, 2015
Lt. Buhrmester reportedly issued a statement following the ordeal to the Eastsider. Part of it reads:
I could see this being considered an excess expenditure of time and resources. Time was on our side, and we utilized it. But I’d much rather be criticized for resource management, than for making a decision to leave and let her settle her issues for herself, to find out later she drowned. Hopefully she will receive the help she needs.