UPDATED 1:20 p.m.
DANVILLE — The Vermilion County Sheriff said a Fairmount man rescued from Lake Vermilion Friday night was apparently trying to take his own life.
Sheriff Pat Hartshorn said the man, whose name he did not release, drove his car down the boat ramp on the west side of the lake and into the water about 6 p.m.
“A citizen that lived on the lake happened to be out in the yard and heard someone hollering for help. It echoes on the lake. They called 911 and said it sounds like it’s coming from the area of the boat ramp. They were able to locate him clinging to some docks,” Hartshorn said.
“We were unable to interview him (Friday) night. He had been in the water quite some time,” he said, adding that the 30-year-old man was mumbling about wanting to die.
Hartshorn said the man was taken to Provena Covenant United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville, where he was being treated for hypothermia and mental issues.
Authorities located his estranged wife, who confirmed he was having mental problems.
The sheriff’s department’s dive team got the man’s small compact car out of the lake by 9 p.m. Three divers went in the water and another six or seven offered support, Hartshorn said.
“It was completely submerged in about 20 feet of water. The driver’s window was down. The door wasn’t open. I’m wondering if he wasn’t in a while and changed his mind and came out the window,” the sheriff speculated.
Hartshorn said hospital officials did not say they were concerned about the man’s survival.
“They were just concerned about getting his body temperature up. They were putting him on 24-hour watch,” he said.