The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is investigating the death of an
East Chicago man on Sunday at the Hammond Marina.
According to the DNR, at 4:15 p.m. Bobby J. Wilson, 30, was operating a
personal watercraft on Lake Michigan, just outside the Hammond Marina, when
the watercraft overturned and Wilson and his passenger were thrown into the
Waves at the time were reported at two to three feet and both Wilson and his
passenger were wearing U.S. Coast Guard approved floatation devices.
Wilson was seen struggling to stay afloat in the water and then went
unconscious, the DNR said. A good Samaritan boater assisted the pair and
transported Wilson into the marina’s fuel dock before calling 911.
Emergency responders and Indiana conservation officers rendered first aid
and CPR but Wilson was subsequently pronounced dead at St. Catherine
Hospital in East Chicago, where he was transported by ambulance, the DNR
An autopsy was conducted on Monday at the Lake County Coroner’s Office
determined preliminarily that Wilson died from “drowning with complications
due to existing medical conditions,” the DNR said. “It is believed that he
may have suffered a heart attack during the incident.”