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Man, 20, Dead After Being Pulled From Water off Beach in Rogers Park

By Benjamin Woodard | July 1, 2014 12:47pm | Updated on July 1, 2014 2:35pm
 The Chicago Fire Department pulled a person from the water Tuesday off Tobey Prinz Beach.
Tobey Prinz Beach Rescue
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ROGERS PARK — A 20-year-old man died after he was pulled from the water near the pier Tuesday at Tobey Prinz Beach in Rogers Park.

Chicago Fire Department Spokesman Larry Langford said the victim was taken in "extremely serious condition" to St. Francis Hospital and was "not expected to make it."

Eric Pandasi, of the 7500 block of North Sheridan Road, was pronounced dead at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston at 3:40 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.

Witnesses said the man had either fallen or jumped off the pier at the end of Pratt Blvd. about 11 a.m.

Shortly after, a boy ran down the pier toward the beach and lifeguards, witnesses said.

"He was screaming, 'Call 911!' " said Tiffany Lue, who was sunbathing on the beach at the time.

She said about 10 lifeguards ran from their shelter near the end of the pier and into the water. She said they formed a line and systematically dove into the water, searching for the victim.

Then, the Chicago Fire Department's scuba team arrived and eventually, after about 20 minutes, pulled someone from the water.

Lue said paramedics gave the person "chest compressions" while still on the beach.

Becky Lehrman, 21, also watched the rescue unfold.

"This is crazy," she said. "This happens every year; I've been coming to this pier since I was a kid."

By noon, rescuers and other emergency personnel were leaving the beach. Lifeguards on the scene declined to comment.

The Chicago Park District issued a swim ban at all Chicago beaches Tuesday  due to high levels of raw sewage that was released from the Chicago and Wilmette locks following Monday night's storms.

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