On Sunday, June 23, 2024, at approximately 6:44 p.m. Porter Police were made aware of a possible drowning at Porter Beach. Porter Police Lieutenant J. Holaway arrived on scene and immediately noticed a life ring (water rescue device) missing from the post where it is normally stored. Beachgoers informed him it was being utilized to rescue multiple juveniles in the water and directed him to the location.
A group of friends advised officers they observed a juvenile female struggling in the water. Visitors of the beach banded together and pulled her to shore. While doing so, they observed another juvenile female struggling in the water further to the West. While a juvenile male ran to the life ring, one of the Good-Samaritans yelled for someone to call the police. The young man then ran back to the scene, handed the life ring to an adult male, who made his way into the water, and swam toward the struggling swimmer.
The second would-be victim was approximately 50 yards from shore. While Lt. Holaway remained on the beach to direct additional emergency personnel he observed the female go under the water and resurface. In the nick-of-time, the male rescuer tossed the life ring to her and pulled her to shore.
Porter Fire personnel transported both girls to the parking lot where they were assessed by EMS. Both juvenile females reportedly came to the beach together. They were reunited with their parents and ultimately refused further treatment.
The Indiana Department of Resources Law Enforcement Division is investigating the near drowning, and all questions should be directed to Officer Tyler Brock at tbrock@dnr.in.gov.
The life ring was purchased by the Porter Fire Department and was installed by the Porter Street Department May 24th, 2024. This is the first time the life ring has been used since being installed.
Agencies involved include Porter County 911, Porter/Chesterton Dispatch Center, Porter Police Department, Porter Fire Department, Indiana Department of Resources, National Park Law Enforcement Officers, Porter County EMS, and Indiana Dunes State Park Lifeguards.
Porter Police Chief Todd Allen and Porter Fire Chief Jay Craig would like to praise the beachgoers for their heroism and quick action as they helped save the lives of the two swimmers.