Girl dies days after being pulled from Castlewood pool

Community shaken after summer swim gone wrong

A young Pleasanton girl died in the hospital days after being pulled unresponsive from the Castlewood Country Club pool, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office reported Wednesday morning.

Eight-year-old Ann Cai was under the water for only a matter of seconds before becoming unresponsive while in the pool during recreational swim with others enjoying one of the final hot days of summer Sunday afternoon, according to sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly.

"It is with great sorrow we report this young girl has passed away. Our deepest condolences to her parents and family. We will continue to support them through this difficult time," officials said in a post on the sheriff's office Twitter page.

The situation unfolded as deputies and paramedics responded to the private club at 707 Country Club Cir., off Castlewood Drive in unincorporated Pleasanton, around 2:25 p.m. Sunday on a report of an accidental near-drowning, according to Kelly.

Cai, a guest of a Castlewood member family, was playing in the pool but the situation turned dangerous "very quickly" when she became unresponsive under water, Kelly said. A lifeguard pulled the girl from the pool within seconds and began CPR and emergency first aid.

First responders then arrived, with paramedics taking over and transporting her to Stanford Health Care-ValleyCare hospital in Pleasanton, according to Kelly. She was then taken to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, where she remained on life support in critical condition since late Sunday.

Cai died just after midnight Wednesday, according to Kelly.

Castlewood general manager John Vest offered condolences on behalf of the club later Wednesday morning, saying, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. This is a horrible tragedy. We are cooperating with authorities and providing responses as requested. Counselors are available for members and club associates."

Grief support is also available at local schools for those affected by Cai's death. Pleasanton Unified School District officials confirmed the girl attended a local school, but they declined to identify which campus out of respect for the family's request for privacy.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of this tragic loss," PUSD Superintendent David Haglund said. "The loss of a child is incredibly difficult and we want to ensure that our families and students know that support is available to them. We will have grief counselors and other resources and supports available."


24 people like this
a resident of Old Towne
on Sep 12, 2018 at 9:42 am

This is heart breaking news, my condolences to the family and friends. If there is any donation fund created in the child or family's name please post.

10 people like this
Posted by Kathy
a resident of Mission Park
on Sep 12, 2018 at 10:45 am

My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Rest in Paradise. ❤️RR

34 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Sep 12, 2018 at 11:33 am

The Chron added that video showed the girl was not long underwater, and that the lifeguard did a good job of responding and was the one who was able to recover a pulse via CPR. They should not hang their head. Well done in the face of tragedy.

27 people like this
Posted by Danville Parent
a resident of Danville
on Sep 12, 2018 at 11:58 am

Very sad. There is no greater pain than the loss of a child.

With the video the news was swift and accurate about what happened. In this case we learned what happened the very next day.

In comparison to the drowning at SRV high school (May 8th). Even with video the school district has yet to disclose the fact that the drowning occurred during a PE class. It was only when the police report (July 5th 2 months later) came out did we learn that the evil rumors that were allowed to swirl were not accurate. Yet the video recorded the drowning and was reviewed the day the student died. Do school districts (SRVUSD) get to withhold information if it makes them look bad?

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