Chicago couple rescue woman in wheelchair after Lake Michigan fall

8:49 AM, Oct 16, 2013   |    comments
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LUDINGTON, Mich. (AP) - A Chicago couple visiting western Michigan to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary helped rescue an Ohio woman in a wheelchair who fell into the water along Lake Michigan.

The Ludington Daily News reports 61-year-old Joanne Burkhart of Rootstown was visiting Ludington's North Breakwater Lighthouse on Tuesday when her husband, Walter, let go of her wheelchair to take a photo.

A wind gust sent Joanne Burkhart and the wheelchair into the water. Police Chief Mark Barnett says 68-year-old Walter Burkhart reached his wife, who was face down in the water, and held her so she could breathe.

Fred Strubin got into the water to help in the rescue and his wife, Debbie, tried to call 911 and ran for help. Joanne Burkhart was treated and released at an area hospital.

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