Wednesday drowning victim identified.

July 4, 2019

Wednesday drowning victim identified.


By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

SHERMAN TOWNSHIP — John Ruiz, 55-year-old of Free Soil drowned Wednesday afternoon in Gun Lake near Sherman Township Park on Town Line Road. According to Mason County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Adam Lamb, on the scene, the Ruiz’s body was discovered by a 17-year-old boy who had dived into the water to swim. “The 17-year-old said he saw something from the corner of his eye and dove down to take a look, discovering the body,” Lamb said. The teen, along with another person, was able to get the body on shore and attempted CPR. Emergency crews were called to the scene at 2:40 p.m. Ruiz was declared dead on scene.

Another witness said he had encountered a man a short time before. The witness, according to Lamb, said the man was “highly intoxicated” and was being belligerent. The witness was at the park with his 3-year-old daughter and left due to the man’s behavior. The witness returned a short time later to discover rescue efforts underway.

This was the second emergency to take place on Gun Lake in the last two days. On Tuesday, July 2, a 61-year-old man nearly drowned about 1 p.m. after falling out of a pontoon boat he was operating. That man also was intoxicated, according to Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole.

Cole said witnesses pulled the man out of the water and performed CPR, saving the man’s life. He was transported by ambulance to Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital. He faces charges of operating a boat while intoxicated.

Emergency personnel responding to today’s drowning included Mason County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, Free Soil/Meade Fire Department, Life EMS, Michigan DNR, U.S. Forest Service.

This story is copyrighted © 2019, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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