Lakewood Police Come to Rescue of Swamped Row Boat

As my wife and I were heading past the south side of the Main Beach on the way to Colonial Café for dinner, we say three emergency vehicles speeding west into Lakewood.

First came a vehicle with a small aluminum boat. Following closely behind was an ambulance and another Crystal Lake Fire Department vehicle.

I feared the worst and said a prayer.

Knowing that Lakewood has a rescue boat located closer to the West end of Crystal Lake, I wondered why it had not been summoned.

Yesterday, I saw an article on the Northwest Herald web site that didn’t make sense, considering the direction that the CL Fire Department vehicles were headed. It said that the boat was at Crystal Lake’s Main Beach.

If the boat was near the Main Beach, why, I wondered, was the rescue boat going west on Lake Avenue.

I decided to call Lakewood Police.

Here’s what Chief Lawrence Howell told me:

“The police boat was out. He saw the boat capsize. He removed the three children form the water and had them in the boat. He attempted to also bring the father of the three children into the boat, but due to the individual’s size, he was unable to get him into the boat. He then threw him a lifeline and called for assistance.”

After his officer came on duty, Chief Howell provided further details:

“It occurred in the middle of the lake just to east of Rumsey’s Point. A row boat apparently capsized (not a park district row boat, he told me when I asked).

“It was a grandfather and three of his grandchildren. Our boat was the first boat on the scene and the boat officer was able to get the three children into the police boat, but he could not get the grandfather into the boat, so he called for assistance.

“He threw him a safety line and a life float to kept him afloat. He had one that was keeping him up. To ensure keeping him up, he threw him one we keep on the boat.

“The Crystal Lake Fire Department and the Lakewood Fire Department both responded. And with the assistance of the fire departments, the man was lifted from the water.”

So, the row boat had a problem near West Beach, not the Main Beach.

And, thank God, no harm resulted.

Confusion overcome.

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