Archived Story

Neighbors rescue Dowagiac woman from lake

Published 11:19am Monday, June 25, 2012

Two neighbors are being credited with saving the life of a Dowagiac woman who nearly drowned in Magician Lake in Dowagiac Sunday evening.

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office is reporting 66-year-old Kathleen Baliunas was swimming near her pier when she became disoriented and disappeared under the water.

Juan Bethancourt, of Plainfield, Illinois and his wife were traveling past in their boat and observed the incident. Bethancourt jumped from his boat and pulled Baliunas from the water onto the end of the pier. Another neighbor, Shelly Hennen, 58, of Dowagiac, who is a registered nurse, began cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Baliunas, who was not breathing. They were successful in reviving Baliunas.

The report said Cass County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the 31000 block of Maple Island Rd. in Silver Creek Township at around 6:20 p.m. Sunday. They arrived to find Baliunas sitting at the end of the pier talking with fire and ambulance personnel.

Baliunas was transported to Lakeland Hospital in St Joseph where she is reportedly in stable condition.

Deputies were assisted at the scene by Pride Care Ambulance and Sister Lakes Fire Department.

By using this website’s user-contribution features, including comments, photo galleries, or any other feature, you agree to abide by the terms of use. Please read this agreement in its entirety because it contains useful information that will help you better understand the rules and general "good manners" that are expected when contributing content to this website.

Editor's Picks