By Adam Sege
12:46 PM CDT, June 18, 2014
Walter Mitchell usually starts fishing at Diversey Harbor at 5 a.m., but for some reason he decided to hit the lake an hour earlier this morning. And was there to help save a man in the water.
“I didn’t see him at first,” said Mitchell, 55. “He just floated to the top and I thought, why is he swimming in this area? It's kind of murky.
"But then he floated into a corner, and then I thought he was a life-sized dummy,” Mitchell said.
As he approached, Mitchell realized it was indeed a body. “His mouth was moving but he wasn’t saying anything. I asked him if he was OK and if he wanted me to call the police.”
Mitchell said the man floated down to the bridge and then floated back. “He never said a word. He never moved his arms or legs. He was just shaking in the water,” he said.
Mitchell called 911 and fire crews pulled the 66-year-old man to safety, officials said. The man was taken to Presence St. Joseph Hospital, where his condition was stabilized.
“He looked as if he was terrified," Mitchell said. "How he looked back at me, it was really scary."
Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC