A Mount Prospect man drowned Saturday afternoon during a visit to the Atlantic Ocean in Virginia Beach.
Steven L. Henry, 56, was pulled from the ocean after rushing in to save his 8-year-old grandson who had accidentally gotten too close to the water, according to Henry's friend of 50 years, Herb Beutow.
Lifeguards had posted red flags on the beach that day as a warning that the water was dangerous. During the process of keeping his grandson away from the dangerous conditions, Henry apparently slipped too far into the water himself.
"He did a heroic thing," Beutow said. "But somehow he slipped under."
Lifeguards rushed to Henry's aid immediately, eyewitnesses say, but as soon as they pulled him out it was clear the man was in bad shape.
"From the get-go he was not moving," said eyewitness Greg Moore.
Another eyewitness, Danielle Christian, reports seeing his daughter running down the beach frantically.
"She said, 'My dad. Daddy. Daddy.' They had to hold her back," Christian explained of the emotional sight.
Henry, a lighting designer for Emerson Electric, was in Virginia Beach to spend Father's Day with his daughter and grandson.
He was taken to the local hospital where he was pronounced dead