Florida teacher dies rescuing teenager from Lake Michigan

PORTER, Ind. — A man who died while trying to save a drowning teenager has been identified as a teacher in Florida.

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Indiana conservation officers told The Associated Press that Thomas Kenning jumped into help when he saw a teenager in distress at Porter Beach.

When Indiana Dunes State Park lifeguards arrived at the scene, they said Kenning had already died, the AP reported.

“(The teenager) made it out with the assistance of lifeguards … but (Kenning) got sucked under,” Porter Fire Chief Jay Craig told The (Northwest Indiana) Times. “Once they got her out, they went back looking for the man.”

Chesterton Fire Chief Eric Camel told the AP that Kenning may have been in the water for up to 15 minutes before lifeguards found him approximately 25 feet from the shore.

“The lifeguards were the true miracle workers,” Craig told The (Northwest Indiana) Times. “They did the best job they could under difficult conditions. They never gave up. They did a phenomenal job.”

“He died saving a strangers life,” Jasmine Kenning, Thomas’ widow, told the Tampa Bay Times. “I think if he had the chance, he would do it again.”

Kenning taught social studies to middle school students in Pinellas County, and authored several books about Florida’s history and ecosystems, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Jasmine Kenning told the newspaper that her husband said “I love you” to her for the first time 10 years ago on the same beach where he rescued the teenager.

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