Taking a cat canoeing: dumb idea? For an Illinois man, it ended up being worse than that. Antioch officials say William Anderson, 46, along with a male and female companion, took the cat with them onto Loon Lake Sunday evening. When they were more than 200 feet from shore, the black and white cat jumped in the water. Anderson went in after it, capsizing the canoe in the process and sending everyone into the water. A nearby pontoon boat came to the canoeists' aid, pulling the animal and two human companions from the water, which was roughly 35 feet deep.
"They couldn't get to the third victim," Antioch Fire Lt. Chris Nixon tells People. Anderson never surfaced after entering the water, and his body was found shortly after midnight yesterday. Those rescued didn't need any medical care, and the cat was fine as well, "just wet and frightened," per a local firefighter. Sgt. Sara Balmes of the Lake County Sheriff's Office tells the Chicago Tribune alcohol was involved; the Daily Herald reports there were life vests on the canoe, but Balmes says none were worn. The AP notes that Antioch sits near the Wisconsin border, roughly 50 miles north of Chicago. (This time last year, a man was killed while trying to rescue a dog.)