Toddler and man pulled from Lake Michigan

April 19, 2008 7:57:34 PM PDT
A toddler and a man were pulled in the waters of Lake Michigan Friday afternoon near Belmont Harbor. According to witnesses, it was an accident. A 60-year-old grandfather was taking his young grandson out for a walk when a gust of wind blew the stroller into the harbor while the young boy was buckled in.

A dive team arrived within minutes after getting the call. With the child strapped into the stroller, it made it easy to find him in water 10-12 feet deep, but according to witnesses, that child was submerged for about 15 or 20 minutes. The water temperature was about 42 degrees.

Witnesses say that the response was almost immediate, that the Chicago Fire Department was there within minutes. They had a helicopter there, a dive team, about a dozen divers and an ambulance also ready to go.

They say that the grandfather, who was pulled from the water, was alert but it appears that the young child was not moving when they pulled him out of the lake. If the boy and his grandfather survive it will be thanks to the quick response of the fire department and to the person who saw them go into the water.

A first-year law student from Kent was studying on the lakeshore when he saw the two go into the water.

"I walked over the hill, saw a guy with about half his body lowered in, (then he) jumped in. I ran over and he kept yelling 'boy, boy.' Apparently he speaks Serbian. I called 911," said John Dershide, law student.

"They were saying there's a child in the water. I saw a child's sippy cup floating, that's when I believed there was a child in there," said Cedric Ramos, witness.

The child was taken to Children's Memorial Hospital in critical condition and was still alive as of 6 p.m. The grandfather was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital and is in stable condition.

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