Karen Wessel died after helping to save a boy from drowning, Star Lake, Wisconsin, July 22, 2014. While swimming in Star Lake, an 8-year-old boy struggled in deep water just off a submerged sandbar while trying to return to the bank. A woman from his party swam out to him, but a struggle ensued between them. The woman’s sister, Wessel, 47, administrative assistant, then entered the water and swam out to them, reaching them at a point about 100 feet from the bank. She grasped the boy, allowing her sister to return to safety, and repeatedly pushed him up to keep him at the surface of the water until both submerged. A man responded to the scene in a pontoon boat, located the boy, and entered the water for him. He revived the boy and had him hold to the boat as he recovered Wessel, who was floating nearby, just beneath the surface of the water. The man took Wessel to the boat and attempted to revive her. Another boater responded to the scene and took Wessel, and then the boy, to a dock, where first responders continued resuscitation efforts on Wessel. She was taken to the hospital but could not be revived, as she had drowned. The boy was hospitalized for observation, and he recovered.
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