Drowning man saved on LP lake

Scott Lanoue

La PORTE – A La Porte County Sheriff's deputy and three good Samaritans, including two cardiac nurses, are being credited with resuscitating and saving the life of a man who nearly drowned last week in a La Porte lake.

Deputy Scott Lanoue was assigned to Marine Patrol on an sheriff's office watercraft on Saturday, July 6, according to a statement from the sheriff's department. As he drove through the channel connecting Stone and South Pine lakes, he saw two pontoon boats anchored several hundred feet off shore and a white box-shaped object floating in the water.

He saw a man on the bow of one of the boats holding another man who was in water and appeared to be unconscious. The deputy then called La Porte County E-911 and requested medical personnel be summoned to Huber’s Marina.

Three good Samaritans jumped from one of the pontoon boats into the water, and Lanoue and the citizens were able to bring the unconscious man onto the county boat. He was placed in the stern of the boat and two of the citizens also boarded, according to the sheriff's department.

The citizens, both cardiac nurses, "quickly determined the subject did not have a pulse and was not breathing," according to the sheriff's office. The nurses then began CPR as Lanoue drove the watercraft across Pine Lake to the marina.

At the dock, other deputies secured the boat and the "subject began to regain consciousness as first responders provided aid still on the stern of the watercraft," according to the sheriff's department. The man was then transported by La Porte County EMS to an area hospital.

Witnesses told police the 44-year-old La Porte residents had been swimming in Pine Lake "when a large wake began to rock one of the pontoon boats. The wake proceeded to hit the subject in the water, causing him to call out for assistance," according to the sheriff's department.

The witnesses attempted to throw the subject a pack of life jackets, but they did not reach him in the water, and he "began to lose consciousness and float in the water."

Lanoue said he contacted the man the following day, and he had "been released from the hospital and had no lasting effects from the event."

Sheriff John Boyd praised his deputy's actions.

"The attention to detail and quick action by Deputy Lanoue played a significant role in saving the life of this gentleman. A big thank you also goes out to the citizens for assisting Deputy Lanoue with the rescue and to the nurses for providing CPR. Job well done!"

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