Man dies trying to save girl swept into Lake Michigan, police say

Posted at 9:14 PM, Aug 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-22 21:14:59-04

CHICAGO — A man died Thursday trying to save an 11-year-old girl who was swept into Lake Michigan while standing on a cement break wall, police said.

The 35-year-old man jumped in and tried to reach the girl, but ended up sinking in the choppy, churning water. According to fire department officials, he was underwater for about four minutes.

Witnesses said several lifeguards rushed in and pulled the man and the girl out. WLS-TV identified the man as Renee Padilla.

After lifeguards administered CPR, Padilla and the girl were taken in an ambulance to Mercy Hospital. Padilla was taken in “extremely critical” condition and died a short time later, WGN reports.

The girl has stabilized and is said to be in good condition.

Related: Officials find body believed to be teacher who went missing in Virginia Beach waters

Earlier in the day, a Beach Hazard Statement was issued for the Lake Michigan shoreline, warning that 3-to-6-foot waves and dangerous currents were expected.

"High wave action and dangerous swimming conditions will exist along the Lake Michigan beaches in Lake and Cook Counties in Illinois and Lake and Porter Counties in Indiana into Friday," according to the WGN weather department.