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Woman Drowns At Shrinking Folsom Lake, Leaving Young Nephew Alone on Shore

FOLSOM LAKE (CBS13) - A family outing turned tragic at Folsom Lake, after a 49-year-old woman drowned, leaving her little nephew alone on the shore.

Strangers were able to help the little boy to safety.

The drowning comes as Folsom Lake continues to dry up during the California drought. The lake is currently at 25 percent capacity, an historically low level.

The woman drowned in the Beals Point Recreation Area of Folsom Lake, far from the designated swimming area, where the water is all dried up.

"That child was found later kind of wandering in the park by some passerby's, and they guided him up to the entrance station when they couldn't locate his guardians," California State Park Superintendent Richard Preston-LeMay said.

The water level is so low at the Beals Point area of Folsom Lake, empty lifeguard stands sit overlooking the dried designated swimming areas.

Time-lapse video shows the trek anyone who wants to get in the water has to take just to find Folsom Lake from the day-use parking lot.

Netta Benjamin brought life jackets with her family to the lake, but decided not to even try getting in the water, since it's so far away.

"It's pretty much rocks, it's pretty much rocks laying out there," Benjamin said. "I'm definitely not going out there, I'm not taking the walk."

Rangers say the woman who drowned was a strong swimmer and in good shape. She was not wearing a life jacket.

The shrinking Folsom Lake is forcing people determined to get to the water into unsafe areas and leaving one woman dead with her young nephew alone on the shore.

The state parks rangers say people should stick to designated swim areas at state parks, and right now, those areas are at Lake Natoma, not Folsom Lake.

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