By Evanston Police Chicago Tribune – 08/05/2008 What started as a late night swim turned into a dramatic rescue early Sunday after Evanston police pulled two distressed swimmers to safety from the choppy water of Lake Michigan, authorities said. “I was yelling for help,” Jeffrey Greenberg, 44, of West Dundee said Monday. “Someone coming to get us is the only way we’re alive today.” Greenberg said he and his friend, Heather Muffett, 39, of Hammond, were celebrating her birthday and decided to go swimming at Lee Street Beach about 10:30 p.m. Saturday. But after they got into the water, Greenberg and Muffett were fighting for their lives. Muffett got caught in an undertow, and when Greenberg tried to assist her, 5-foot waves slammed them both against a metal breakwater at the south end of the beach, Greenberg said. “I definitely know there was no possible way of getting back to shore on my own,” Greenberg said. “If I could have, I would have.” With waves crashing over them, the two clung to each other and the breakwater for 90 minutes before they felt the water had calmed to the point where they could safely reach the shore about 50 yards away, Greenberg said. “That’s when the disaster broke,” he said. “I don’t know what happened; I think a wave hit us. All of a sudden she was gone. I thought she was dead.” Muffett surfaced about 10 yards away and screamed for help as they both clung to the breakwater in order to keep from being pulled under the water. “I was pretty much bounced around,” Muffett said Monday. “Every time I had a chance to get up to the surface, I took a breath and then was dunked down again.” A resident heard the cries for help and called police. When Police Officer Matthew George arrived minutes later, he said he was unable to see Greenberg and Muffett because of the darkness and waves. “When I finally saw them they were being battered up against the breakwater,” George said. “I told them we were going to get them out.” Battling the waves, George and Officer Jeffrey Faison entered the water up to their necks and threw Greenberg a rescue disc, then pulled him to safety. Moments later officers threw the disc to Muffett and pulled her to the shore. Other officers arrived during the rescue to assist. Officer Mikhail Geyer, one of those assisting, was treated for swallowing too much water and released. Greenberg and Muffett were taken to a local hospital where they were treated and released. They were ticketed for swimming on the beach after it was closed. “We’re both very shaken, and we’re ecstatic to be alive,” she said. “For us it was nothing short of a miracle. We would definitely be dead right now if they hadn’t come.” George said the rescue took about 8 minutes and it was all part of a night’s work. “If we hadn’t been that close and we didn’t have the rescue disc . . . I don’t think there’s any doubt they wouldn’t have lasted much longer,” he said. “I was just glad that we could be in the area to help.”