News, Police/Fire

Man pulled from lake at Breakheart Reservation in Saugus, later dies

SAUGUS — A 20-year-old man was pulled from Silver Lake at Breakheart Reservation by emergency crews searching for a missing swimmer on Wednesday evening, and later died at the hospital.  

Authorities said the man, whose name has not been released, was found after a more than hour-long search. He had been living with a cousin in Lynn at the time of his death.

After the man was pulled from the water, emergency responders performed CPR and he was taken to Melrose Wakefield Hospital, where he later died, according to State Police.

State Police Sgt. Paul Sullivan said a call came in for a reported drowning at 4:50 p.m. at the upper pond at Breakheart Reservation, or Silver Lake. The man was pulled out of the water shortly before 6 p.m.

The man had attempted to swim to an island in the lake with two of his cousins. About halfway there, he struggled and went under. The cousins attempted to find him but were unsuccessful, according to the Essex County District Attorney’s office.

Saugus Fire Chief Michael Newbury said he was found after an extensive search. Someone saw a man floating and then reported seeing him go under.

Three Saugus firefighters pulled the man out — Capt. Christopher Rizza, Firefighter Steven Morando and Firefighter Michael Ferreira. Also in the rescue boat was Firefighter Randy McQueen.

When someone sees a potential drowning, Newbury said it’s important for the witness to remember where they last saw the person in the water. When rescue crews respond, he said a grid search is conducted where a buoy with a weight on it is dropped where the person was last seen, which is where the search begins.

Newbury said Silver Lake, which is about a half mile walk into the reservation, is a “no swimming” zone with no lifeguards and no beach, unlike the main lake where people can swim under supervision. He said the search could have begun a lot sooner if the incident had been at the main lake where there are lifeguards.

“You should be swimming in Breakheart safely and where there are lifeguards (in a) marked and posted area,” Newbury said.

Saugus Police and Fire, State Police, Wakefield Police, Beverly Fire, Department of Conservation and Recreation lifeguards and State Police troopers assigned to the Essex County District Attorney’s office all responded to the incident. State Police, Stoneham Police and Beverly Fire sent dive teams.

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