Teen dies during Lake Michigan swim outing

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See Chicago Tribune

A day after Jose “Tony” Joya drowned near Whiting, Ind., after he and a group of friends jumped from a pier into Lake Michigan, the mother of his young son was left wondering why he went into the water when he couldn’t swim.

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Joya, 18, of the 4700 block of Towle Avenue in Hammond, struggled to stay afloat soon after he and his friends jumped from a newly constructed fishing pier about 8 p.m. Monday, according to authorities. The group was about 250 feet from the shore, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Paola Gonzalez, 17, said her boyfriend was with about 10 friends enjoying the warm weather on the beach and had just returned from getting ice cream when she believes he was caught up trying to “be cool.”

“I don’t know why he would even think about doing that because he does not know how to swim,” said Gonzalez. “I guess it was just for fun. You know how teenagers get when they’re with friends.”

About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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