Family saves 8 children from near drowning in lake

HAGG LAKE, Ore. -- A family helped save eight children when they nearly drowned in Hagg Lake Saturday afternoon.

Gaston Fire District spokesman Ken Bilderback said the kids, ages 6 to 13, ran into the lake but did not see a steep drop off in the water.

"It's a deceptive drop off. It goes from not very deep to deep without warning," said Bilderback.

They were taken to local hospitals. All of the children are expected to be OK.

Firefighters rushed to the lake, located west of Forest Grove, after a report that the children had possibly drowned.

A family enjoying a reunion at the lake saw what was happening and helped save the children. There was a language barrier, so the rescuers didn't know how many kids were in the water.

"Five or six of them ran into the water to save them and one by one they pulled them out," Bilderback said.

"One of the witnesses told us that she - that the last child found was actually at the bottom of the lake and they didn't know she was there until of the rescuers sort of tripped over her," he said.

None of the kids was wearing life jackets, Bilderback said.