Rescue divers combed through Lake Erie like a human chain in search of a teenage girl and the man who jumped in to save her life.
Witnesses saw the teen struggling to stay above the waves.
That's when 43-year old Peter Radke wasted no time and jumped into the water to go after her.
Authorities were called to Huntington Beach around 6:00 p.m. to search for the man and the girl.
Rescue teams found the girl first and she was rushed to St. John's Medical Center but the search continued for the Radke.
As the minutes turned to hours with no sign of him, it became clear this rescue had turned into a recovery mission.
"At 9:00 p.m. we recovered the body of the second victim were looking for," said Chief Lyons, of the Bay Village Fire Department.
Authorities praised Radke for his selfless act.
"We did want to say that this man is a hero. He went into rescue a young lady that was in trouble and lost his own life in the process," added Chief Lyons.
The girl Radke was trying help has since been released from the hospital. She is doing fine.
Cleveland Metroparks released the following statement concerning the tragic incident on Sunday:
We are saddened by the incident that occurred yesterday evening at Huntington Beach and send our thoughts and prayers to the family of Peter Radke. Huntington Beach has long been a destination for families to gather in our community and nothing is more imporant to us than the safety of our visitors.
Our commissioned Cleveland Metroparks Ranger Department and Detectives Unit are in the process of investigating to determine exactly what happened. Once again, our sympathies go out to the Radke family.
After his death, the family of Mr. Radke released the following statement:
Words cannot express the profound sorrow we feel over the death of our beloved Pete. He was dedicated to serving God and anyone in need. While we never expected to lose him so soon, we take comfort in knowing Pete's final moments were spent saving the life of another. Peter Todd Radke, devoted husband and father of four, would have had it no other way.
The Family of Peter Todd Radke
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Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:14 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:14:19 GMT
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