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CHICAGO (STMW)–A 12-year-old girl was in serious condition after authorities pulled her out of Lake Michigan near North Avenue Beach Friday evening.
The girl was swimming in the lake about 6 p.m. when she became overcome by waves, said police News Affairs Officer Veejay Zala.
Lifeguards pulled the girl out of water, and paramedics performed CPR on her as she was taken in critical condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, authorities said.
Zala said the girl was later transferred to Lurie Children’s Hospital, where she was listed in serious condition.
Timothy Hollins, a relative, identified the girl as Ayanna Jones. He said she was swimming off North Avenue Beach with Hollins, his son’s mom and another 12-year-old when the current pulled them under and separated them.
“They just started to panic. You know what I mean?” he told CBS 2’s Pamela Jones. “And I went this way and they went this way, so I tried to swim back to the shallow water and I yelled to the lifeguard, ‘Look, they’re drowning, they’re drowning.’”
Witnesses say several onlookers and lifeguards scrambled to save the swimmers.
Earlier on Friday, a man died after he was pulled from the lake near North Avenue at Burton Place, authorities said.
People on the scene brought him to shore and were attempting to perform CPR on him, and CFD paramedics who responded then took over and worked to revive him, but his vital signs were “very, very poor,” Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford said.
He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was listed in “very critical” condition, according to Fire Media Affairs.
The man died after being taken to the hospital, police and a spokeswoman for the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said.
Fire Media Affairs noted that the National Weather Service in Chicago on Friday issued an increased rip current risk warning that stays in effect until Saturday evening.
In a statement, the weather service said swimmers should not swim directly against a rip current.
“If you become caught in a rip current, do not panic,” the statement said. “Remain calm and begin to swim parallel to shore. Once you are away from the force of the rip current, begin to swim back to the beach.”
Contributing: Sun-Times Media Wire. Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.