Police in Nanaimo, B.C., say a seven-year-old girl has drowned at a popular local lake.

RCMP Cpl. Ken Callaghan said that a swimmer discovered the girl floating in the water of Westwood Lake, about five or six feet below the surface, around 2:20 p.m. on Friday.

The 40-year-old from Camrose, Alberta pulled her to shore.

"I think he thought she was snorkelling, because she might have had a snorkel in her mouth," Callaghan said.

Several lifeguards were on scene at the lake and performed CPR on the girl. She was taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, but died soon after.

Callaghan said the girl was part of a group of children, and her parents were not on scene at the time of the drowning. Police say she is from the small community of Cedar, about 14 kilometres northwest of Nanaimo.