An Ohio toddler is in critical condition after he was found unconscious in a Colchester pond.

It happened Sunday afternoon during a family gathering near Nazarene Christian Church in Colchester, considered part of Harrow in Essex County.

Essex County OPP say the 23-month-old boy’s father noticed him missing and after searching for 15 minutes, he found him in a pond next door without vital signs.

“Unfortunately, one of those moments that nobody was asking for, not looking forward to," says Rev. Michal Pucovsky.

Paramedics and police performed CPR, and he was taken by air to the Sick Children’s Hospital in London and was later transferred to a Michigan hospital.

"We have really hard feelings and sad feelings about what happened there," says Pucovsky.

Essex town officials say the pond does not violate any bylaws, adding no permit was needed to build it or to put up a fence.

The owners of the home told CTV News they opened up the pond for the first time this summer. It was built about two-feet deep to accommodate the Koi fish.

OPP spokesperson Const. Aaron McPhail is reminding the public about the importance of water safety.

"Water can be as dangerous as it is beautiful, and this is a primary example of that," says McPail.