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10-year-old girl, teenage boy drown in Lake Michigan in Racine: Officials

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Posted at 8:02 AM, Jun 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 23:29:54-04

RACINE - A 10-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy drowned in Lake Michigan in Racine over the weekend, the Racine County Sheriff's Office reported Monday.

TMJ4 News crews also saw a third person being pulled from the waters Monday afternoon. Law enforcement have not released information on that person's condition yet.

The sheriff's office said in an update Monday that the girl who drowned at Zoo Beach on Saturday was 10 years old (previously announced she was 9) and identified her as Eisha N. Figuereo Colon of Racine. She went by the name “Naomi."

The office also said in the update that the 17-year-old teen who was found unresponsive along Lake Michigan the same day has died from what appears to be drowning. The office identified him as Yaahwinder Singh of Franklin.

Then Monday evening, the office said it responded to North Beach for one to two teenage girls who were experiencing an emergency in the lake. The office said in a statement the first girl was rescued with cuts and scratches to her body. The second girl received emergency medical attention at the scene and was brought to Children’s Hospital by Flight for Life.

Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said in the statement:

“I encourage the public to enjoy the beaches of Racine County during this wonderful summer weather; however, people need to be smart, and be safe. It appears that recently Lake Michigan has had some extraordinarily strong currents that are pulling swimmers into life threating situations. I am deeply saddened by the recent deaths of two young lives, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the young lady who is currently receiving medical treatment at Children’s Hospital.”

The Racine County Sheriff's Office said they got a call about a female possibly drowning at Zoo Beach around 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Once they were able to remove the girl from the water they took her to the hospital.

Unfortunately, she succumbed to her injuries while hospitalized and passed away.

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Just five minutes after the first call, the Racine County Communication Center received another call about another incident in the water off North Beach. A 17-year-old boy was located once responders were on scene. He was later declared deceased, authorities said.

United States Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan Public Affairs Lieutenant Junior Grade Phillip Gurtler said it is vital people are strong swimmers before entering the lake.

"If you're not confident as a swimmer, there's nothing wrong with wearing a life jacket," Gurtler said. "That is the number one thing that can really save your life."

Great Lakes Surf and Rescue Project Executive Director Dave Benjamin said knowing survival strategies can also help you when you're in danger.

"If you are ever struggling in water over your head, we recommend you flip, float and follow," Benjamin said.

Other ways to stay safe include having someone to swim with, having a flotation device and knowing your abilities as a swimmer.

Just this year there have been 13 Lake Michigan drownings and 30 Great Lakes drownings, according to Great Lakes Surf and Rescue Project.

Racine resident Heather Yohn frequents North Beach and said there once were lifeguards present but not as of late.

"[Even] being an experienced swimmer, [you] can still lose your balance and lose your way here," Yohn said.

She believes having lifeguards on duty can help save lives.

Both incidents are under investigation.

The Milwaukee Recreation Department is offering $5 swim lessons to three qualifying locations across the city this summer. Find out more details here.

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