RACINE — Authorities say a teenage girl was flown to Children's Hospital on Monday afternoon after crews rescued two girls from Lake Michigan at North Beach.
The Racine County Sheriff's Office says just after 5 p.m. Monday, it responded to two girls experiencing an emergency. When deputies arrived, officials say a strong current seemed to pull the girls into deeper water and into the rocks. Officials say one girl was rescued with cuts and scratches, and the other received medical attention on scene before being taken to the hospital.
“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," Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said in a statement. "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.”
TMJ4 News crews saw the rescue unfold while they were at North Beach Monday afternoon following up on another story. TMJ4 saw a rescue boat come close to the shore, where crews carried the girl to an ambulance and started chest compressions. Several squad cars, two fire trucks and an ambulance could be seen at the beach.
Tanya Tylock says she walks the North Pier often, and on Monday she said she came across a girl who looked hurt. Tylock says the girl told her that her friend was still in the water. That's when she told her husband to call 911.
"They got out there pretty quick looking for the girl and stuff," Tylock said. "I want to say it took them maybe 10 or 15 minutes to pull her out of the water."
Tylock says people should take safety around the lake seriously.
"Pass it on to your kids, your nephews, your cousins, whoever, because that’s scary waters," Tylock said. "This isn’t like the quarry, where you can jump off a cliff and swim to shore and you’re going to be OK. These are waves that will take you under."
Officials say 10-year-old Eisha N. Figuereo Colon, who went by "Naomi," drowned at Zoo Beach last Saturday. Minutes later, crews went down the shore to North Beach, where they say they found 17-year-old Yaadwinder Singh unresponsive after they pulled him from the lake. Officials took him to the hospital, and now say he died early Monday of "injuries consistent with drowning."
These emergencies are breaking the hearts of people in Racine like Jim Kaplan. He hopes this time everyone will be OK.
"One of them was walking with a towel around her, or blanket, so that looks good," Kaplan said. "But the other one, the rescue squad left with lights and sirens, so that’s a little hopeful."
On Tuesday, Sheriff Schmaling said his office will discuss these emergencies and potential ways to prevent more from happening.