Porter County Sheriff's Department


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Off Duty C-Comm 911 Dispatcher Assists in Rescue

Woman rescued from Lake Michigan

By Times Staff | Posted: Tuesday, August 9, 2011

PORTAGE | A 50-year-old Portage woman was rescued from Lake Michigan on Tuesday afternoon after rough waves pinned her against a break wall.

Mary Chapman and her husband were swimming at Portage Lakefront Park and River walk site of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore when Chapman was pulled into deeper waters, Portage police Sgt. Keith Hughes said. The call to the department came in at 2:32 p.m.

Portage Police officer Richard Schmitt arrived and was told Chapman was being thrown against the rocks on the west side of the pier by the waves. Schmitt climbed over the pier railing onto the rocks to assist bystander Jacob Foddrill, who was already helping Chapman. Capt. Mike Vaughan also arrived to assist in the rescue.

The three men worked to keep Chapman from being swept out into the lake or back onto the rocky shoreline until the Portage Fire Department arrived and were able to use their equipment to get her out of the water.

Jennifer Herron, an off-duty dispatcher with Porter County Central Dispatch, who was at the park with her children, also assisted by using the officer's radios to update dispatch on the victim's and officers' location near the pier.

Chapman was transported to Porter Portage Hospital Campus for treatment. She was reported to have sustained cuts and bruises as a result of being thrown against the shoreline.

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