Chesterton Tribune



Coroner: Alcohol and drugs involved in drowning at Dunes State Park

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A Lafayette man died Sunday morning at Porter Regional Hospital following a swimming mishap at Indiana Dunes State Park the night before after the beach had closed, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources said.

The DNR identified the victim as John Lank, 29.

The incident occurred around 8 p.m. Saturday, DNR Director of Communications Phil Bloom told the Chesterton Tribune, after the beach had been closed for the day, as usual during the swimming season, at 7 p.m.

Sometime after Lank entered the water with several others, “he disappeared,” Bloom said. At 7:43 p.m. Lank was found on the beach near the water’s edge, unresponsive. CPR was administered by an unknown person until Porter Police and Fire arrived at the scene, along with Porter hospital EMS, Bloom said.

Lank was subsequently transported to Porter Regional Hospital (PRH), where he died at 7:06 a.m. Sunday, Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris told the Tribune.

Cause of death, Harris said: anoxic brain injury due to drowning.

Harris did say that “drugs and alcohol played a role in the drowning,” according to witnesses at the scene. Lank also “tested positive for a high (blood alcohol content) and drugs” on PRH’s toxicology screen, Harris said.

The results of Harris’ own toxicology screen are pending. No autopsy will be conducted.

Bloom noted that sometime on Saturday afternoon wave conditions prompted the DNR lifeguards to restrict all swimming to a waist-high depth.


Posted 8/16/2016






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