VERMILION — A city man likely is lucky to be alive after taking a swim for his life in the fast-flowing Vermilion River on Thursday night.
According to a Vermilion police report, 29-year-old Derek Lind knocked on the door of a residence in the 700 block of Riverside Drive just after 11 p.m. Thursday “stating that he had fallen into the Vermilion River.”
Lind told officers he was trying to get back to his Hollyview Drive home and fell in the river. He was “soaking wet” and “was very cold,” while also “obviously extremely intoxicated,” with slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and “could not keep his balance without assistance,” police noted in their reports.
Lind was arrested for misdemeanor disorderly conduct by intoxication. After being checked out by North Central EMS, he was given a court date for Tuesday and released to a family member.
Lind also told police he had been at Lake Erie Lanes on Liberty Avenue prior to falling in the river, but was “not sure” if he had been walking when he went in the river, the report stated. His gray 2012 Ford Fusion was missing; it was not in the bowling alley parking lot or anywhere on the banks of the river, police said.
Lind “stated he didn’t remember how he had ended up in the river, just that he had been swimming for his life and pulled himself up on shore at Riverside (Drive) after swimming a long time,” the report states.
Lind also was “polite and apologetic” to officers and “thanked officers several times for ‘saving his life,’” an officer noted in his report.
Officers also checked all the marinas in the area along Vermilion and West River roads but found no signs that the vehicle had gone in the river, according to their reports.
River conditions were “very poor” Thursday due to heavy rains and the river was running fast with lots of debris in it, according to the police report.
Rescue workers were out at the West Shore Boat Club on the Vermilion River until late afternoon Saturday attempting to find the car, witnesses and police said. Vermilion police dispatch supervisor Kate Kopriva said the car had not been located as of 4 p.m.
If anyone finds a gray 2012 Ford Fusion in the water, they are encouraged to call Vermilion police at (440) 967-6116.