Swimmer Drowns At Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

The Great Lakes can be as dangerous as the oceans for swimmers, a point driven home by the drowning of a 37-year-old man at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

National Park Service officials say three members of a family that was swimming in the park Saturday at Lake View Beach on Lake Michigan were rescued from the turbulent surf, but one of the three later died.


At approximately 5:30 p.m., a visitor saw someone in the water struggling in waves of about 3-to-5 feet in height. They called the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Dispatch Center to report that a man was having trouble in the high waves and that family members were attempting to reach him.

First Responders were able to rescue two family members who were in the water and get them safely to shore. Rescuers then located a third victim floating in the surf approximately 40 yards to the west about 10 feet from shore.

Rescuers pulled the man from the water and found him unresponsive. CPR was started and an automated external defibrillator was applied. The victim, identified as Gonzola Silva of Lafayette, Indiana, was then transported to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Michigan City, Indiana, a park release said.

Mr. Silva was initially listed in critical condition upon arrival to the hospital and had a pulse and was placed on a respirator. Initial reports indicated that the man was under the water approximately 20 minutes before being pulled to shore.

At approximately 9:30 pm Central time on Saturday the man was pronounced dead by doctors from St. Anthony’s Hospital.


The National Weather Service had issued a Hazardous Beach Advisory for Saturday afternoon through Monday morning, with waves expected to be in the range of 4-5 feet.