E.C. boy dies while swimming with friend in Wolf Lake

2012-06-23T14:00:00Z 2012-08-10T18:46:11Z E.C. boy dies while swimming with friend in Wolf LakeBy Chelsea Schneider Kirk and Deborah Laverty Times Staff Writers nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | The East Chicago boy who died Friday night from an apparent drowning has been identified by the Lake County coroner's office as Antwain Hall.

The 9-year-old boy was pulled from Wolf Lake after he went missing while swimming with a friend Friday night, Hammond Police Chief Brian Miller said. 

Hall was transported to Franciscan St. Margaret Health hospital in Hammond after he was pulled from the lake about 7:14 p.m.

The cause of death is listed as pending on the news release issued by the coroner's office.

Emergency responders had administered CPR on the boy as he was transported to the hospital, Hammond Fire Chief Jeff Smith said.

Hammond police and firefighters were called to the lake about 5:50 p.m. Hall came to the lake with a friend, a 13-year-old East Chicago boy, and the friend's mother, Hammond police Lt. Richard Hoyda said.

Hoyda said the two boys swam out to the island in the lake while the mother stayed on the edge of the water. While the boys were swimming back, they encountered a sand bar and that's when Hall was lost in the water, Hoyda said.

The Lake County Sheriff's Department responded with its helicopter, and the Lake County Aquatic Team provided divers. About 30 onlookers stood near the lake watching the rescue.

Chera Small, of Lansing, said she comforted a woman she believed was the child's mother as the rescue took place. Small said she didn't know the woman, who was visibly shaken and calling out to the child from a bench near the lake.

The child was walking along a shallow area of the lake when he swam off into a deep section of about 8 feet of water, said Stanley Gaskey with the Aquatics Underwater Recovery and Rescue Unit.

Gaskey said Hall was found right off the sand bar.

“You think you're safe one minute,” Gaskey said, “and then you're in 8 feet of water the next minute.”

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