PAINESVILLE TOWNSHIP, Ohio - A Painesville Township man who was rescued after wandering into freezing water is recovering in the hospital.
At around 2:24 a.m. Sunday, Lake County Sheriff’s dispatchers received a call from a man name Jesse Heinz, 30, who reported that he became lost while walking home from the Lake Dine and Dance Tavern on Fairport Nursery Road.
Heinz then informed dispatchers that he was surrounded by water, soaking wet, very cold and could not feel his legs.
Heinz remained on the phone with dispatchers and began describing his surroundings, claiming to have made his way to some sort of well and had climbed atop of the well to get himself out of the water.
Crews were able to locate Heintz sitting on top of the well near the Cuyahoga Concrete Company, however crews could not get to him since he was surrounded by freezing water with averaging depths between three and five feet.
Rescue crews from the Painesville Township Fire and Rescue Department and Fairport Harbor Fire Department were called in to assist.
Crews had to carry an inflatable vessel about a mile through the flooded fields to rescue Heintz from the gas well.
The whole process of locating and rescuing Heintz took over two hours, said deputies.
Paramedics transported Heintz to Tri-Point Medical Center to be treated for frostbite and hypothermia.
Deputies said Heintz is extremely fortunate to have wandered upon the gas well; otherwise he would have remained submersed in the freezing water and could have likely died from hypothermia.
It was determined through the sheriff’s department investigation that Heinz was under the influence of alcohol and drugs and had wandered onto land that had been closed to the public. The 30-year-old could face criminal charges of disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing upon being released from the hospital.