Archived Story

Woman rescued from lake

Published 12:40pm Thursday, June 28, 2012

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

Kathleen Baliunas, 66,  was swimming near her pier when she became disoriented and disappeared in the water, according to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.

Juan Bethancourt, of Plainfield, Ill., and his wife were passing 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. The resuscitation efforts were succesful.

Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the 31000 block of Maple Island Road 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.

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