A Beach Park man died Monday after he was rescued from Lake Michigan near Zion by Good Samaritans. His family said he was a former marine and police officer.
The Zion Fire-Rescue Department and Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded around 5:59 p.m. Monday to Isherwood Beach off of 17th Street in Zion for a report of a water rescue.
Fire crews arrived to find a pulseless man on the beach at the water’s edge, according to Zion Fire-Rescue Department Lt. Nick Urbanik.
The victim’s son identified his father as Casimir Rincon Sr., 60, of Beach Park.
Urbanik said that Rincon had been rescued by bystanders from Lake Michigan on the north end of the Illinois Beach State Park, which is an area referred to as the North Dunes.
The bystanders told rescue crews that Rincon appeared to be in distress and went under the water for an extended period of time.
Firefighters and paramedics immediately started CPR on Rincon, who was unconscious and not breathing, Urbanik said.
Paramedics continued advanced life support care on the victim and transported him to Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan where he was pronounced dead, the Lake County Coroner’s Office said.
Urbanik said it is unknown what caused the man to become in distress in the water.
“The Zion Fire and Rescue Department stresses the need for and importance of safe swimming practices for any body of water, especially Lake Michigan,” the department said.
Rincon was a decorated Marine veteran, father of three children and grandfather to three children. He was also a North Chicago police officer for 17 years.
“A decorated marine and police officer, he gave nearly 30 years of service to defending our nation’s freedoms and protecting and serving the public,” Rincon’s son told Lake and McHenry County Scanner.
Rincon was a longtime resident of Chicago’s Back of the Yard neighborhood and then he moved to the northern suburbs where he lived in Beach Park.
A witness who said her husband rescued Rincon from the water said they heard a woman screaming for help and ran towards her.
“There were a lot of people just standing and do nothing. My husband is not a lifeguard or swimmer, but he dived under the water as soon as we came there. He found this man at the bottom very close to the shore, it was not even deep there. Why [did] nobody help him earlier?” the woman told Lake and McHenry County Scanner.
Lake County Sheriff Spokesman Lt. Christopher Covelli said sheriff’s deputies turned the scene over to the Illinois Conservation Police Department, which is investigating the incident.