MICHIGAN CITY — A Michigan City man who was pulled from the waters of Lake Michigan off Washington Park on Saturday night died late Sunday, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Christian Rosete Rodriguez, 25, of Michigan City, died at 11:59 p.m. Sunday at Franciscan Health Hospital in Michigan City, according to Indiana Conservation Officer Terri Millefoglie.
La Porte County Coroner Bob Cutler said Rodriguez died in the Intensive Care Unit from cardio/pulmonary arrest caused by asphyxia from the near drowning. No autopsy was performed because it was a "witnessed event," he said, and toxicology results are pending.
The Michigan City Fire Department responded about 8:30 p.m. to a report of someone struggling in the water. A 911 caller said the man had gone under the water while swimming with family members, and then was not seen again, according to an MCFD report.
Firefighters were able to spot the man about 30 yards out from shore.
Four firefighters went out and were able to pull him out of the water, but he was "not breathing and had no pulse," according to the report.
Firefighters started CPR and carried him on a backboard to a waiting La Porte County EMS ambulance, which transported him to Franciscan Health, where he was initially listed in critical condition.
Rodriguez is the second person to drown off the Washington Park beach in two weeks. On July 6, 17-year-old Rahem Mason of South Bend went under while swimming in the park. His body was found five days later along a beach near Union Pier, Michigan.
The beach was under “red flag” conditions at the time of both incidents, meaning no one should have been swimming due to dangerous water conditions, according to Millefoglie, who said lifeguards had already left for the day when both incidents occurred.
In the last few days there have been two additional drownings in Lake Michigan – a 14-year-old Ludington, Michigan, girl who died Thursday after being pulled from the water near Stearns Park; and a 31-year-old man who died after being rescued by the Chicago Fire Department on Saturday.
Another man remains in critical condition after two vessels collided northwest of the Hammond Marina on Lake Michigan at 8:15 p.m. Friday. That man was retrieved and taken to the University of Chicago Hospital for treatment.
There have been at least 20 drownings in Lake Michigan so far this year, according to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project. There were at least 43 drownings reported on the lake in 2018, including two in Michigan City and three in Porter County.
And a toddler was rescued by boaters on July 15 at Washington Park after being carried out to open waters on an inflatable duck by a side-offshore wind.
DNR Conservation Officers are also investigating the drowning of a 1-year-old, who was pulled from Lake of the Woods in Marshall County just after 8 p.m. Sunday and transported to St. Joseph Medical Center in South Bend in critical condition. He died about 3:30 a.m. Monday. Official cause of death is pending autopsy results.
First responders were called to the lake, located just south of U.S. 6 and southwest of Bremen, to reports that a young child was pulled from the lake and was unresponsive.
According to DNR Law Enforcement Capt. Jet Quillen, family members were ending a birthday party when they noticed a back door to the home open and the 1-year-old missing. After a brief search, family members found the child floating in about 18 inches of water, after being missing for 5-10 minutes.