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14-year-old boy drowns at Lorain beach, second body recovered Wednesday

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Posted at 10:12 PM, May 31, 2022

LORAIN, Ohio — A 14-year-old boy drowned in Lake Erie off Lakeview Beach in Lorain on Tuesday evening, the United States Coast Guard said. A 20-year-old man, who investigators said jumped in the water to try to save the teen, also drowned. His body was pulled from the water Wednesday morning.

A spokesman for the Coast Guard said they received a call at 6:30 p.m. that a 14-year-old boy was seen going under the water.

A 20-year-old man went into the water to rescue the teen but didn't resurface, according to the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard said divers recovered the 14-year-old boy, and he was pronounced dead.

Coast Guard boats and a helicopter searched for the 20-year-old man until around 10:15 p.m. Tuesday before the search was called off. It resumed Wednesday morning.

The 20-year-old man's body was found by members of the Lorain County Dive Team Wednesday around 9:50 a.m., according to the Lorain County Metro Parks.

“This beach was full yesterday,” said Russell Laneuyt, who told News 5 the water was crowded Tuesday with beachgoers, many of whom were ignoring posted 'no swimming' signs.

Fred Johnson was keeping a close eye on his 3-year-old daughter Wednesday while she played on a playground at the beach.

"[The tragedy] just has you thinking, ‘What could I have done?’ It makes you think, as a parent, ‘What could I do?’” Johnson said. “Kids, they get to having fun, and next thing you know they’re out too far.”

Lorain County Metro Parks director Jim Ziemnik said it appeared the teen was swimming beyond a break wall, in an area where the water and terrain of the lake are unpredictable.

“We’re posting the signs to inform people - no swimming. That means there’s a hazard, an inherent hazard involved in that,” Ziemnik said.

He said the designated swim season was originally set to start this upcoming weekend, but due to labor shortages, there are no lifeguards to staff the beach. The beach will be open, but swimming will remain off-limits until lifeguards are hired.

“We’re going to keep trying to get people hired and get people in the chairs, so people can go swim safely,” he said.

In the meantime, Ziemnik said staff is not able to patrol the beach for people violating the no swimming policy. Instead, they will remind swimmers about the possible dangers.

Editor's note: Authorities previously gave News 5 incorrect ages for the 14-year-old and 20-year-old. The story has been updated with the correct ages.