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Man dies after being pulled from Johnsburg lake

Fire chief: Victim under water for nearly 45 minutes

Published: Sunday, June 8, 2014 8:54 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, June 9, 2014 12:27 a.m. CDT
(Kyle Grillot –
Fox Lake firefighter David Conrad keeps warm with blankets Sunday at the staging area for a water rescue in Johnsburg. Conrad pulled a victim from Pistakee Lake during the water rescue that ended with a 49-year-old man being taken to Centegra Hospital - McHenry in critical condition. The man was later pronounced dead.

JOHNSBURG – A 49-year-old man from Stone Park died Sunday after he was submerged in Pistakee Lake in Johnsburg for nearly 45 minutes before firefighters recovered him.

Firefighters from the McHenry Township Fire Protection District pulled the man from the lake at 4:32 p.m., and immediately administered CPR while taking him to Centegra Hospital – McHenry.

The man was not breathing when he was found and had no pulse, said McHenry Fire Chief Tony Huemann.

He was pronounced dead at 5:05 p.m. at the hospital, McHenry firefighters said.

The identification of the man is being withheld until all next of kin are notified, the McHenry County Coroner’s Office said late Sunday evening.

The office will conduct an autopsy Monday morning to determine the official cause of death.

After initial confusion over jurisdiction, McHenry Township firefighters responded to a report of a person missing in the water at 3:48 p.m. near 4018 Pitzen Road, Johnsburg. Firefighters recovered the man from Pistakee Lake nearly 45 minutes later.

The accident happened roughly 300 feet off the shoreline, after the 49-year-old man and another friend decided to jump out of their 23-foot Baja boat while it was not anchored, McHenry firefighters said in a news release.

The wind picked up and pushed the boat away from both swimmers, firefighters said. One friend made it safely back to the boat, while the 49-year-old man never surfaced above water, firefighters said. A third friend attempted to start the boat, but it wouldn’t start and drifted closer to shore.

During the beginning of the rescue dive, a Fox Lake rescue boat spotted the 49-year-old man and pulled him from the lake. While the rescue effort was continuing, the Fox Lake boat took on water and capsized.

No one from the Fox Lake department was injured in that incident, McHenry firefighters said.

Other area departments that assisted McHenry with the rescue effort included Barrington, Cary, Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove, Grayslake, Lake Zurich, Wauconda and Woodstock.

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