He and his friends were just visiting the beach and hanging out, when they lost track of the boy. Two teenage boys told a Chicago Park District lifeguard that they could not find him, and that they had last seen him in the lake, said Park District spokeswoman Jessica Maxey-Faulkner.
Witnesses said they heard the lifeguards page the boy by name over the loudspeaker, but when he didn’t check in, the lifeguards went into emergency mode.
“On the loudspeaker the lady said everyone out of the water immediately, everyone out of the water, so we were like what’s going on and we looked over to the right and there was a lot of commotion by the shore,” witness Maggie Horvath said.
As the lifeguard rowed over to the south end of the beach where the teen was apparently last seen, his friends began frantically searching under the water.
“I looked over there was four boys left out on the south end of the beach in the water and they were all scrambling, going under, trying to see who was there,” witness Sarah Kane said. “They were trying to get their friend who was under the water.”
She said the friends found the teen fairly quickly, out by the pylons, and carried him to shore as beach goers watched with an uneasy feeling.
“No one knows how long he was under for, so, it’s just really unfortunate,” Kane said.
Fire Media Director Larry Langford said the boy was unresponsive when a Chicago Park District lifeguard pulled him from the water, after responding to what Fire Media Affairs called a “near drowning incident” just after 5 p.m. Tuesday.
“About six guys, officers, started carrying him to the ambulance, and every 10 seconds kept dropping him and pumping his chest,” witness Derek Zugic said.
Police and paramedics performed CPR on the boy and did get a response from him before taking him to Lurie Children’s Hospital in extremely critical condition. He could not survive his injuries.
Police and the Chicago Park District are conducting an investigation into the incident, Maxey-Faulkner said.