Chesterton Tribune



Ore boat deckhand apparently drowns at ArcelorMittal dock

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A deckhand on an ore boat docked at ArcelorMittal apparently drowned on Monday after falling into the water.

The victim has been identified as Sara Murawski, 30, of Kinde, Mich.

The accident occurred at 3:45 p.m., after Murawski had disembarked the ship and was retrieving her personal belongings on the dock. Burns Harbor Fire Chief Bill Arney told the Chesterton Tribune that Murawski is believed to have been reaching for an item when she slipped off the dock and fell into the water 15 feet below, likely hitting her head on the ship on the way down.

Murawski had just completed a tour of several weeks aboard the Wildred Sykes and was preparing to go home for the holidays, Arney said. She was not wearing a personal flotation device at the time of the accident and was not seen to surface. A witness did enter the water in an attempt to rescue Murawski but was unable to do so.

The Burns Harbor, Porter, and Chesterton FD dive teams all responded to the scene, but only the PFD’s team actually dived, after the Wilfred Sykes had been moved away from the dock to clear space for search efforts. Murawski was recovered by Lt. Evan Jamrok in 32 feet of water, next to the dock wall approximately 10 feet from where she’d gone in, PFD Chief Jay Craig said. At that point Murawski had been in the water for 42 minutes, Arney noted.

Murawski was transported by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel to a BHFD ambulance and, while EMS performed CPR, taken to Porter Regional Hospital, where she was subsequently pronounced dead. Murawski had sustained a contusion to the head and when recovered her body temperature had dropped to 82 degrees, well below the 95 degrees at which hypothermia occurs, Arney said.

The Porter County Coroner’s Office and Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating the accident.


Posted 12/10/2019





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