SWAT officers honored for pulling man from icy Lake Michigan

Officers Peter Jonas and Shane Coleman were named the Great Lakes Water Safety Heroes for February.

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Jamie Racklyeft, executive director of the Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium, presents an “water safety hero” award to SWAT Officers Shane Coleman and Peter Jonas, Friday, March 6, 2020. Coleman and Jonas saved a man from drowning in Lake Michigan last month.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Two weeks after they rescued a man from the icy waters of Lake Michigan, two Chicago Police SWAT officers were honored Friday for their lifesaving efforts by the Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium.

Citing their “bravery and heroism,” Jamie Racklyeft, the consortium’s executive director, named Officers Peter Jonas and Shane Coleman as the Great Lakes Water Safety Heroes for February.

A 22-year-old man fell into the lake near Ohio Street about 7 a.m. Feb. 19. Chicago Fire Department crews arrived first but couldn’t find the man.

Jonas and Coleman were on patrol in the area at the time. Once they went to the water’s edge, they found the man and were able to pull him to safety.

Three months earlier, SWAT Sgt. Mike Nowacki was running a 5K downtown — in full uniform — when he performed CPR on another runner who went into cardiac arrest near the race’s finish line.

“Even though we may not train specially for cardiac arrest or pulling someone from icy water, we’re a lifesaving organization no matter what the incident is,” Coleman said Friday. “If someone’s in need of our help, if they’re in danger, it doesn’t matter what it is, we’re going to get it done.”

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