The Chicago Fire Department fished out the body of a swimmer, who died after being underwater for more than half an hour. The body was recovered from Lake Michigan on Thursday afternoon. The man was reportedly an expert swimmer and was out with his friends when he decided to jump in the lake for a "quick swim" but went missing.
Authorities believe that the high waves twirled and pushed the man to the rocks, resulting in his drowning. Lake Michigan is known to be turbulent at times. This year has seen a record number of people getting drowned in the lake, forcing the authorities to issue a warning against the severe undercurrents.
Adventure Dooms Swimmer
According to the Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford, the 25-year-old man was out with four friends on the lake. He told them that he "wants to jump into the lake for a quick swim." His friends saw him jumping but he then went missing and remained underwater for 40 minutes.
At around 1pm, the fire department responded to the call and sent four divers and a helicopter to the 5500 block of South Lake Shore Drive. The body was fished out half an hour later about 10 feet off the rocks after a lot of struggle. He was already in cardiac arrest by then and was rushed to the University of Chicago Medical Center where he was pronounced dead half an hour later.
Fire department officials said that the undercurrent in Lake Michigan has become dangerous and the man, who was an expert swimmer, lost control the moment he dived. "Please keep in mind Lake Michigan is turbulent with severe undertow," the department tweeted. "Beaches are closed and rock walls are especially dangerous to swim near. A CFD rescue diver got out of the water and said it was like a "washing machine" please stay out of the lake."
Although Lake Michigan waters otherwise look calm, Chicago Fire Department has time and again warned people about the dangerous undertow. Moreover, the rocks by the side make it dangerous for even expert swimmers.
Authorities believe that the waves may have pushed the man into the rocks and knocked him unconscious, following which he couldn't raise alarm and suffered cardiac arrest. According to the Great Lake Surf Project, which tracks drownings, 17 people have died in Lake Michigan this year, which is a record. Incidentally, all went swimming and then succumbed to the undertow.