Security officer rescues children from lake

Indiana Oct. 23 2007

Unseasonably warm temperatures drew a family to the Indiana Dunes State Park on Sunday seeking a pleasant afternoon.
High winds made their day more exciting than they'd planned as a security guard had to pull ashore four children trapped aboard an inflatable raft that was fast blowing out into the lake.
Security officer Dan Dickey waded into the 60-degree lake around 3:19 p.m. after campers at the park reported seeing swimmers launching the raft.
By the time he arrived, winds from the southwest had pushed the raft beyond the sandbar, and the father of three of the children aboard the raft had entered the water to make a rescue attempt.
Dickey helped a 12-year-old who had jumped off the raft and was struggling toward shore, then ran along the beach to chase the raft.
The wind carried the raft toward a sand bar, where Dickey was able to find a foothold and drag the three children to shore.
Conservation officers, staff from the adjacent Dunes National Lakeshore, members of the Chesterton Dive Team, Burns Harbor and Porter Emergency Medical Service all reached the scene shortly after Dickey exited the water.
The 12-year-old and the father of the other children were treated for minor symptoms of hypothermia at the scene, park property manager Doug Stukey said.
Temperatures reached a summer-like 80 degrees Sunday, but Stukey said the park only allows swimmers during the period between Memorial and Labor days, when lifeguards are on duty.
Large rafts and watercraft are not allowed at the park.

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