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Teen Drowns While Swimming With Friends In Lake County

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Matt Reed (Photo Supplied)

Matt Reed (Photo Supplied)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – The drowning of a teenager in Lake County has authorities stressing safety ahead of one of the hottest days of the year.

CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports at least 10 people drown each day in the U.S., and experts say at least half of those deaths could be prevented if the victim had been wearing a life preserver.

A life jacket might have made a difference for 16-year-old Matt Reed on Monday when he went swimming off a pontoon boat on Third Lake, along the Chain O Lakes in Lake County.

Reed was swimming with about a half dozen friends when he got in trouble Monday afternoon about 200 yards from shore, and disappeared in about 40 feet of water.

His friends called 911 around 4 p.m. Monday, and rescue crews from more than half a dozen surrounding communities were brought in to assist with the search.

“We were informed that there was one individual that was missing. He struggled while he was swimming; went down and never resurfaced. Folks were still out there. Our crews got out there and started making initial rescue efforts,” Grayslake Fire Protection District Chief John Christian said.

Crews used sonar to search for Reed. His body was recovered from the lake around 9 p.m. Tuesday night.

Christian said the tragedy likely would have been avoided if Reed had worn a life jacket.

“As we get into boating season, and the warm season, we want to remind everybody how important it is to have personal flotation devices available,” he said.

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