Authorities credited the quick actions of people who were enjoying a day at for pulling a drowning man out of the water Tuesday.
A 33-year-old Tinley Park man was heard shouting for help while in the water on the east side of the lake around 12:45 p.m., according to Orland Park Police Commander John Keating.
Twenty one-year-old Albert Kulicz from Bridgeview and Mackenzie Smith,16, of Orland Park jumped in to help the man, while a friend of the girl called 911. Other friends went from the boat launch area of the lake to where the man was seen in the water to help, according to the Orland Fire Protection District. Those that helped included 16-year-old Andrea Dunn and 17-year-old Taylor Calzaretta, both Carl Sandburg High School students.
“I clearly believe if it wasn’t for their quick actions, this man surely would’ve drowned,” Keating said Tuesday. “At great risk to their own safety, they acted appropriately, and without hesitation they jumped in and saved him. With their actions, they are definitely heroes as far as I’m concerned.”
The Bridgeview man and girl were able to move the drowning man to land, and he was pulled out of the water with help from the girl’s friends, as emergency crews arrived on scene, according to police and fire representatives. The man was found naked.
“He fell unconscious while he was being pulled to shore,” Keating said. “There was heavy brush on the side of the lake, and neither the girl or man – who is 6’’2 – could touch the lake’s bottom.”
The drowning man’s identity, and that of the people who helped him, were not released by the police or fire district. The girl and her friends just completed junior year at , and were celebrating at the lake, Keating said.
The Tinley Park man did not appear to suffer serious injuries, and was recovering at Palos Community Hospital Tuesday evening.
Authorities haven’t said what led the man to be in the lake, which doesn’t allow swimming. No charges have been placed against the Tinley Park man as of Tuesday.
“Despite the stress of situation, the people who helped him wanted to know how he was doing later on,” Keating said. “This really had a happy ending.”
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