Bystanders help rescue 2 people who went underwater at Lake Harriet


Two young women were rescued after they went under the water at Lake Harriet Wednesday evening. One of them is in serious condition after being underwater for several minutes, KSTP reports.

The two women, age 17 and 20, were at North Beach on Lake Harriet about 5 p.m. Wednesday when they had trouble while trying to swim to a floating dock and went under, according to the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office.

The 17-year-old was able to get out of the lake without help. A witness found the other woman underwater and pulled her to shore, where several bystanders administered CPR, according to KARE 11.

KSTP spoke to one of the rescuers, who happened to be in the right place at the right time. Zachary Beckman was on the beach when he heard the commotion and organized people into a search line.

Beckman, who told the station he is a certified lifeguard, said it took several minutes before one of the searchers found the woman at the bottom of the lake about 15 to 20 feet from shore.

Beckman dove in and brought her to shore, and he said she wasn't breathing. Another beachgoer who was a nurse began CPR, and revived the woman.

The two were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center. The 17-year-old was in stable condition and the 20-year-old was in serious but stable condition, according to the sheriff's department.

Sheriff Rich Stanek used the incident to remind people to be careful around the water this summer.

"I can't repeat this water safety message enough: Watch, wear, learn. Watch your kids. Wear your lifejacket. Learn to swim," said Stanek in a news release.

KSTP notes that lifeguards are on duty at Lake Harriet's North Beach from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

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