NewsPinellas County


St. Pete man dies in Indiana trying to save teenager

Posted at 8:10 PM, Jun 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-27 20:10:07-04

PORTER, Ind. — Lifeguards recovered the body of a Florida man Monday after he tried to save the life of a teenager, Indiana conservation officers said.

Thomas Kenning, 38, of St. Petersburg, Florida, was at Porter Beach when he saw a female in distress in Lake Michigan, officers said.

A short time later, Indiana Dunes State Park lifeguards arrived at the scene and they pulled Kenning from the water, officers said He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

An autopsy is planned.

“A female teen in the water was in distress and the gentleman went into the water and attempted to rescue her,” Porter Fire Chief Jay Craig told The (Northwest Indiana) Times.

“She made it out with the assistance of lifeguards from Dunes State Park, but he got sucked under,” Craig said.

Chesterton Fire Chief Eric Camel estimated the man may have been in the water 15 minutes before the lifeguards found him in the waves approximately 25 feet (7.6 meters) from shore, just west of the state park beach.

At the time of the incident, the state park beach was closed to swimming because of dangerous conditions.

Craig estimated the waves were 3-5 feet (0.9-1.5 meters) high.

Porter Beach is an unguarded beach and is considered “swim at your own risk.”