Teacher Passes Away While Trying To Save A Drowning Teen In Lake Michigan

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At Lake Michigan, a father and educator who was hailed as modest and inspiring, was found dead after saving the life of a teenage girl.

On Monday, Thomas Kenning, 38, from St. Petersburg, Florida, was at Porter Beach in Indiana with his 9-year-old daughter Rory and his parents when he observed a 16-year-old girl in trouble in the water.  “After he handed his hat and cell phone to his mother, he ran toward the water and (our) daughter yelled out to him, ‘Dad! Be careful!'” Jasmine Kenning, a teacher and Thomas’ wife, told TODAY Parents. “The first phone call I got was, ‘Jasmine, there’s been an accident. Tom heard someone was in trouble, and he jumped in the water to help her. The paramedics did CPR and he’s on his way to the hospital,'” she recalled.

At Porter Beach, the waves were between three and five feet high, according to an official from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

According to the spokesman, “Thomas got the teen out of a deep area and to a place where she could help herself.” However, he was unable to escape himself.

They rescued Kenning after he had been submerged for 20 minutes at Indiana Dunes State Park. At Northwest Health Hospital, they confirmed that he had passed away. According to the spokeswoman, the county coroner judged Kenning’s death an accident due to drowning.

According to the National Park Service, rip currents and waves make swimming in the lake risky.

The pair had a deep connection to Lake Michigan. When Jasmine Kenning first met Tom’s family, they traveled to Mt. Baldy, which is located just east of Porter Beach. “When we reached the top of the dunes, he looked me in the eyes and said, ‘Hey Jasmine, ‘I love you.'”

Kenning was a teacher at Plato Academy in Pinellas Park, where he taught middle-school civics and world history.

Tonia Cunningham, the school’s principal, reported that Kenning played music for his children as they went to and from school. He always carried drumsticks,” she told TODAY Parents. “No one was late for his class.”

An outdoor cafeteria may be named in honor of a respected teacher who requested that kids eat in the open air last year.

The following article was originally published by: https://www.today.com/parents/parents/teacher-thomas-kenning-drowns-teen-lake-michigan-rcna36373