Echo Park Lake viewed from Clinton Street

Echo Park -- A man who got into trouble after going swimming in Echo Park Lake this afternoon was dragged to shore by a boathouse worker and transported to a hospital by firefighters.

The fully-clothed man had swam out about 50 yards into deep water on the eastern side of the lake when it appeared he was going under, said Stephen Shackelford, one of the assistant managers who run the pedal boat concession at the lake, where swimming is not permitted.

By the time Shackelford's inflatable boat got to the submerged man, all he could see were the swimmer's lips in the water. He pulled the man's arms through a life ring buoy and then slowly navigated the boat with the man in tow to the shore, Shackelford said. 

"It was scary," Shackelford said. 

The man was conscious after being taken out of the water, he said.

L.A. Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart said the call for assistance came in at about 1:30 pm. But the man was already out of the water by the time fire crews arrived. 

He was transported to a hospital, she said. No information was available about his condition.

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