DANVERS - A Central Illinois woman is dead after an apparent drowning at Spin Lake outside Danvers. Another woman was treated for heat exhaustion after trying to help the victim and rescuers.
McLean County Coroner Beth Kimmerling said late Thursday night the victim is a 72-year-old woman from Washington. Authorities will not release her name until her family is notified.
Several people at the Spin Lake subdivision beach made 911 calls shortly after 2 p.m. Thursday, seeking help after the woman disappeared under water, said Lt. Carl Boyd Jr. of the McLean County Sheriff's Department.
Police and rescuers arrived a few minutes after the calls. Kimmerling said the unresponsive woman already had been pulled from the lake.
She was prounounced dead at 2:59 p.m., the coroner said.
Witnesses told deputies the woman was swimming, but ran into some trouble. "She evidently didn't have the strength to swim this distance away from the beach. She became in distress at some point," Boyd said.
Lifeline medics and county deputies were assisted by volunteers with Danvers Fire Department. The rescue scene was at the foot of a steep hill behind a home on the north side of the lake.
The second victim, whose name was not available, had tried to assist the swimmer in trouble and later rescuers. She was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Temperatures in the low 90s took a toll on rescuers. One volunteer firefighter fell to one knee under the shade of a tree to catch his breath.
A neighbor brought a large cooler with cold water and disposable cups for rescuers and others at the scene.
Kimmerling said she hopes to release information about the drowning victim today, including preliminary results from an autopsy, which is scheduled for this morning.