Child, 4, rescued from water at Montrose Harbor

July 20, 2013 4:45:22 AM PDT
A 4-year-old child was pulled from the water at Montrose Harbor on Friday night.

This is the latest in a string of rescues. In fact, the last seven days have been deadly on the Great Lakes.

"One fatality is too many in our eyes, but to have 15 in a week span on the Great Lakes is pretty significant," said Chief Petty Officer Alan Haraf, U.S. Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard says 15 people have died in boating and swimming accidents, including the death of Blue Island Alderman Michael Janko.

"The city has lost a brother. I also lost a brother - a brother I never had," said Domingo Vargas, Blue Island Mayor.

Officials say Janko was boating with 2 friends near Whiting, Indiana, when he jumped in the water Thursday and appeared to be in trouble. Witnesses say another swimmer tried to pull him to safety, but Janko slipped under water.

"He is going to be missed a lot, he was a really nice person," said Ludivina Cervantes, Janko's neighbor.

Witnesses say Janko was not wearing a life jacket. That's the Coast Guard's number one concern for all boaters.

"We're encouraging them to not just have it onboard, but wear it. Some boaters have it under the seats, believe it or not, they still have them in the packaging," said Haraf.

Along with wearing lifejackets, the Coast Guard says boaters must check the boat's safety gear, take a safety class, be aware of the weather and surroundings, and have a designated driver.

Beachgoers are warned to never swim alone, swim where a lifeguard is on-duty, and swim parallel to the shore to break the grip of a rip current.

As some Chicago residents attempted to beat the extreme heat this week by heading to the beach, Cook County reported a heat-related death on Friday, the second of the year.

The death of an elderly woman Thursday at her South Side Washington Heights home was heat-related.

Anne Spears, 71, died at her home at 12:50 p.m. in the 9700 block of South Green Street, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

An autopsy Friday found Spears died of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and heat stress was a contributing factor.

The temperature Thursday reached 96 degrees at O'Hare Airport, according to the National Weather Service.

It is the second heat-related death of the year in Cook County.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.


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