A Redwood City man died after experiencing difficulties while swimming in Lake Siskiyou on July 4.
Alexander Rakitin, 40, of Redwood City, died of unknown medical conditions following a late afternoon swim in Lake Siskiyou on Saturday.
A Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office release states that deputies responded just before 6 p.m. July 4th to a call involving someone in medical distress at the lake.
According to a preliminary investigation, Rakitin was swimming past the buoys at the main beach with a companion when he suddenly turned around and began to swim back to the beach. He experienced difficulty and was assisted back to shore by people boating in the area.
Trish Osborn, a nurse at Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta, said she was at the Lake Siskiyou beach at the time and could see a man in distress about a quarter mile from shore, outside the buoy area.
She said she watched from shore with many other people as several patio boats moved in his direction.
“Then I heard someone say ‘call 9-1-1’ and saw someone dive off the boat,” Osborn said.
She said she then “swam from shore all the way out there” and initiated CPR once he was in one of the boats.
She praised the family with children on that boat for getting the man out of the water and the “huge sacrifice” they made in attempting to help him.
Osborn said he was unresponsive while she administered CPR as the boat made its way to the north shore, where emergency medical personnel were waiting.
Subsequent emergency first aid administered by responding emergency medical response personnel and emergency medical professionals at Mercy Medical Center were also unsuccessful, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Rakitin’s death is still under investigation, and the Sheriff’s Office release states that the cause and manner of his death should be determined this week after a post mortem examination.
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact the SCSO’s 24-hour Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900.
Describing the man’s death as “tragic and felt by all concerned,” Sheriff’s spokesperson Hilary Seliger stated in the release, “On behalf of the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Lopey, I would like to extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Rakitin.”