A Missouri man is being remembered as “selfless” after he drowned while trying to rescue two young children in Lake Michigan on Sunday, according to authorities.
Racine County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 3:04 p.m. regarding Thomas J. Walker, who was missing after he went into Lake Michigan. Walker had jumped into the lake after his two nephews were seen struggling in the water. After helping to get his nephews safely out of the water, police say Walker “did not emerge from the water.”
Less than an hour after arriving on the scene, authorities found Walker’s body in the water and immediately began performing “lifesaving” measures. Walker was then taken to Ascension All Saints Hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.
Earlier in the day, the U.S. National Weather Service warned of hazardous water conditions in the lake, including at the spot where Walker drowned. The advisory warned of waves up to five feet tall and dangerous currents, police said. (RELATED: Sheriff’s Deputy Drowns Trying To Help Young Girl)
The Sheriff’s office called the incident “tragic, incredibly sad, and preventable” in a statement.
Walker’s family called him a “kind soul” in a statement released by the Racine County Sheriff’s Office.
“He was a kind soul and an amazing uncle to his niece and nephews. And how we lost him is a testament to how great an uncle and all-around guy he was. [We] never met a person who didn’t like him. He is missed greatly,” the family said.