Chicago Heights boy, 5, pulled from Lake Michigan
By Maria Amante firstname.lastname@example.org/648-3072 July 19, 2012 6:58PM
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore ranger Jorge Martinez and chief ranger Mike Bremer talk with witnesses Thursday afternoon after a 5-year-old boy was pulled unconscious from Lake Michigan at West Beach. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 21, 2012 9:15AM
PORTAGE — A 5-year-old boy was airlifted to a Chicago hospital after a near-drowning Thursday at West Beach.
The boy was with a dozen family members from Chicago Heights, Ill. At about 4:30 p.m., family members reported to lifeguards that the child was missing.
The boy was found about 10 minutes later by lifeguards about 20 yards from shore. CPR and other life-saving measures were started immediately, officials said.
“This (rescue) could not have happened any faster,” Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Chief Ranger Mike Bremer said. “(Lifeguards) did their utmost best efforts to give this kid the best chance that we could.”
There was no evidence of carelessness, according to witness accounts, Bremer said.
The boy was taken to Methodist Hospitals Northlake campus in Gary, then airlifted to Comer Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago.
“He was under water 10 minutes,” Bremer said. “It didn’t appear anybody did anything unusual. It’s not a bad day out. Just a little kid in Lake Michigan.”