10-year-old boy drowns in Lake Erie at state park

 A 10-year old boy drowned in Lake Erie Friday.  The incident happened at Sterling State Park in Frenchtown Township at about 4 p.m.

Rescuers suspect a strong current pulled the boy, who was from Wayne, under the water.

"There was a lot of rain in the area the last week," said Chief Mark Nicholai, the Frenchtown Township fire chief. "We have a channel that empties into Lake Erie that was probably fuller than normal. The current was probably stronger than without the rain water. It may have been a contributing factor."

Nicholai  was part of the rescue effort.

"We had a report of a person screaming in the water for help," Nicholai said. "We arrived and at that point the person had already gone under water. So we initiated the search and rescue operations with our boat." 

The boy had been missing in the water for 45 minutes.

"The child's body surfaced we were able to retrieve him," Nicholai said. "We started resuscitation efforts and transported him to the hospital where he succumbed to the drowning. 

"Most of the bodies of water in the Great Lakes are below what we call cold water drowning parameters. There is a possibility someone can survive an hour being submerged. 

"He was right at that threshold for us."

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