In the wake of Tuesday's tragedy in Fairfield -- -- police are looking into how they and the town can better enforce no-swim zones and water safety.
Catherine Perez Trujillo slipped under the water while swimming with family in a no-swim zone on the north side of . She was submerged for about 45 minutes until a diver found her resting on a ledge 10-15 feet under the water's surface.
Trujillo was rushed to Bridgeport Hospital, but was pronounced dead late Tuesday.
"There is not a more tragic example of how unpredictable water can be," Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara said Wednesday.
According to Lt. James Perez, the area where Trujillo and her family were swimming at the north end of Lake Mohegan reached depths of 60 feet. Sharp drop-offs mean that an area of shallow water can suddenly become dozens of feet deep.
"When you look at the tragedy in Long Island with the boat crash, you look at this tragedy... I don't think people understand the risks -- how quickly bad things can happen," MacNamara said.
That's why police are urging people to heed the no-swim signs and use only the designated swimming areas at any of the town's bodies of water, especially at Lake Mohegan.
MacNamara said officers periodically patrol the north end area of Lake Mohegan, but usually based on complaints or reports to police that people are swimming there. A special officer patrols the south side at night, but the department does not have coverage where Trujillo drowned.
"We understand that, with the heat, people want to enjoy our public spaces but we want them to go to the designated areas where there is a lifeguard posted for their safety," Sgt. Sue Lussier said.
Police are also encouraging passersby -- people fishing, hiking, walking their dogs -- to notify staff at Lake Mohegan or the department directly if they see people swimming in undesignated areas.
"We'll always send an officer, always have sent officers to reports of people swimming in undesignated areas," Deputy Police Chief Chris Lyddy said. "We understand the dangers."
In the meantime, is looking into posting more signs to warn people of the no-swim zones and working with the and departments to "determine what more can be done to prevent this," MacNamara said.
Currently in place at Lake Mohegan is the Fairfield Police Marine Unit, on hand with flotation devices for purchase and advice for swimmers. The department also plans to reach out to local groups like the Stew Leonard III Water Safety Foundation to raise awareness about the risks swimming can pose.
"It's really an awareness of the risks," MacNamara said. "We can't lose sight of the fact that a little 10-year-old girl lost her life [Tuesday.] We must support the family and our emergency responders -- many of whom are mothers and fathers themselves."
Editor's note: This article by Fairfield Patch.