Boy Pulled From Jackson Park Harbor Dies

Updated 06/19/11 – 6:19 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — A 5-year-old boy is dead after falling into Jackson Park Harbor.

As CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports, the boy, identified as Tyrone White, was rescued from the water by firefighters and passersby, but he could not be saved. He was pronounced dead at 5:28 p.m. at the University of Chicago’s Comer Children’s Hospital.

Witnesses said Tyrone might have been in the water for 20 minutes before his body was finally recovered by Fire Department divers.

The boy was walking with his family down a pier when he fell in the water about 4:20 p.m., Fire Media Affairs Chief Joe Roccasalva said.

The incident happened about 6500 South Promontory Drive, according to police News Affairs Officer Darryl Baety. The location is near the Jackson Park Yacht Club.

It is not clear how Tyrone fell into the water. One witness said he might have dropped a walkie-talkie into the water, and then might have fallen in to retrieve it.

By all accounts, the boy was not wearing a life vest.

Boaters at the marina frantically dialed 911, and six or seven of them — among them the boy’s father — dived in themselves trying to save the child.

“I was up on the porch and I heard somebody screaming. I did not see the boy go in, but I was in the water diving to get to the bottom,” said witness Gloria Fallon. “I went down – I don’t know – 10 or 15 times, but there’s only 2 or 3 feet of visibility, and when you got down, you couldn’t touch the bottom, because it would bring up the mud and you couldn’t see anything at all. I just had a pair of goggles on, and I was pretty close to where they pulled him out, but I didn’t see him.”

“Please put your children in life vests, because this is a very scary moment,” a man, Tony, said as his voice cracked. “Please do that, because it can happen in a blink of an eye.”

Emergency crews responded with firefighters and paramedics, and a helicopter was even launched. But it took a while for Fire Department divers to arrive, and they were the ones who finally recovered the body from the murky waters of the harbor. But it was simply too late.

(The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.)

  • Margie

    Just one question………..why didnt one of thje parents jump in after him?
    I am 76 years old and if it was my grandchild or any little kid you better believe I would have been in the water and not just call 911 and wait for someone else to do it!

    • NWA

      Maybe they couldn’t swim?


    • Melissa

      It said the dad dove in too.

  • sad

    Its sounds bad but a large majority of blacks can not swim. I’m guessing the family was black considering it was Jackson park, I could be wrong though. Very tragic keep this kid in your prayers.

    • PC Rice

      That is irresponsible assumption! All the five people who drove in to try and save the boy were black, except one person..

  • NWA

    Large number or majority, you can’t mean both? Because a large number could be the majority, couldn’t it? Question: What about the large number of African-Americans who serve in the Coast Guard, Navy and Marines. They would need to know how to swim. Therefore, your post should say, some African-Americans can’t swim.


  • Lyndia


  • Donna

    Ya I was wondering the same thing—–if u jump in water u will come up to the top—even if I didnt know how to swim I would have jumped in—the child had to be near the edge….so fairly close.very sad

  • Cathy

    Actually it was three white females and four black men which doesnt really matter the mother couldnt swim and had two children with her as I stood aside her you cant really say why fidnt they do this and that if u werent there u wouldnt understand I work there and yes they were black but that doesn’t mean anything im mexican and I also did wat I could to help that harbor is very diverse and dont know y everything has to be racial everyone did wat they could and for one it was hard to keep her calm

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