EAGLE RIVER (WAOW) – A 47-year-old woman who tried to rescue a young boy in trouble while swimming has died of an apparent drowning, the Vilas County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday.
Karen Wessel of Star Lake died at a Wausau hospital Tuesday night where she was flown by helicopter after she was pulled from Star Lake by a boater and given CPR, Capt. David Gardner said.
Wessel got in trouble when swimming out to rescue an eight-year-old boy, one of three boys who had tried to swim across a channel to a sandbar in Star Lake and had trouble getting back to the shore, he said.
Two women with Wessel rescued two boys and one of them went for the third boy but became too tired and Wessel went to help, Gardner said.
Wessel reached the boy and eyewitnesses said she used herself to push him above the surface to keep him from going under, the investigator said.
"A short time later, Wessel would not return to the water surface," he said.
A man with a pontoon boat dived in the water to rescue the boy and had him hold on to the railing of the boat before realizing that Wessel was "floating lifelessly" under water near the boat, Gardner said.
Another boat arrived and a husband and wife lifted her into their boat and got her to the shore, he said.
The relationship between the women and the children was not immediately released.
CPR was performed on the eight-year-old boy and he was taken to a Woodruff hospital. His condition was not known Wednesday, Gardner said.
Star Lake is about 10 miles north of St. Germain.
EAGLE RIVER (WAOW) – Two people, including an eight-year-old boy, were hospitalized and three others escaped harm in a near-drowning incident Tuesday on a northern Wisconsin lake, the Vilas County Sheriff's Department said.
A 47-year-old woman was flown to a Wausau hospital and the boy was hospitalized in Woodruff following the incident about 12:30 p.m. on Star Lake in Plum Lake Township, the agency said.
The medical conditions of the pair were not immediately known.
A 911 call reported two women were attempting to rescue three children swimming in Star Lake, which is northwest of Eagle River, investigators said.
Two children were rescued without incident and the woman and boy both went under water, the sheriff's department said in a statement.
A family friend in a boat pulled the pair from the water, CPR was started and they were rushed to a boat landing where rescue units were standing by, the agency said.
No other details were immediately released, including the relationship of the women and children.