Teen dies, girl injured in beach incidents

June 24, 2009 9:20:13 AM PDT
One child has died while another was hospitalized Wednesday morning after emergencies along the lakefront. The hot day is once again likely to draw crowds to the lakefront.

Over the past 24 hours, there have been two incidents at Chicago beaches, including the death of a teenager.

It was going to be another hot, steamy weather day Wednesday. One popular way to cool off is to hop into Lake Michigan, but it can be dangerous.

Police are investigating what looks like the drowning of a 16-year-old boy in the Kenwood neighborhood. Shawn King was found in the water near the 5000-block of South Lake Shore Drive. The boy was a ward of the state and lived at a youth home.

Also Tuesday at Calumet Park Beach, a 3-year-old with her parents was saved by a lifeguard who brought her to shore and began administering CPR before the fire department's paramedics arrived. Officials say the child was apparently eating when she was hit by a wave, which caused her to choke.

Some children were the first to notice that the girl was in trouble.

"It was a very sad, indescribable scene with the little girl. The little girl was trying to gasp for air," said Leticia Gallardo.

Lifeguards say that young children should always swim with adults, and that they should wear life vests. They also say that people should never swim alone.

"I usually just swim with my little brother. I don't know. We don't go out too deep. We just kind of stay where it's shallow, make sure that we're usually safe with the lifeguards and stuff," said Phil Healy, swimmer.

"If you see all of these kids deep into the water. I was wondering what kind of apparatus or system do they have there in case something happens? I was a little worried," said Rodney Wright.

People not in the water were pedaling, running, and strumming the guitar in the sticky, sweaty conditions. They, too, say they are being careful.

"Just make sure we get out in the early mornings, later at night if you're going to exercise, if you're going to be out," said Elyda Healy.

"Drink a lot of fluid, try to eat right. Basically that's it. I mean, this is the weather. We have to expect these kinds of extremes," said Tony Salaan.

"We should have been out a lot earlier. You don't come out and start working out at this time of the day. Usually anywhere between 5 o'clock and I would say maybe 9 o'clock is really the best time to work out or in the evening after 6 o'clock," said Mary Griffin.

If you do live in the city, you can call 311 for the nearest cooling center. If you choose to cool off in the lake, the best thing you can do is come during the day when the lifeguards are there.


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