Updated 05/08/14 – 12:01 p.m.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) — Marine units equipped with sonar and drag lines recovered a body from Lake Michigan near Lake Forest on Thursday, more than two hours after a woman was reported to be in distress while swimming off Forest Park Beach.
The U.S. Coast Guard coordinated the search effort, along with as many as 20 area fire departments, after Lake Forest police received a call of a swimmer in distress around 8:20 a.m. just off a boat ramp.
Witnesses said the swimmer, described by at least one person as a woman, could be seen waving her arms and struggling to stay above the surface.
U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Brian Dykens said discovery of a sweater and a pair of shoes along the shore added urgency to the search.
“Roughly 9 o’clock, we received a report that a bystander witnessed a person in the water, kind of bobbing up and down, and going under,” he said. “That call went to the 911 dispatch center, and the Coast Guard received that call.”
Several rescue boats and two Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopters conducted a search of the water for more than 2 ½ hours before a body was recovered shortly before 11 a.m.
“Unfortunately, the body was recovered by Lake Forest divers under the surface of the water,” he said.
The victim’s identity has not yet been released.