CHICAGO (CBS) — A trip to the sunny lakefront took a deadly turn Tuesday and it has officials asking everyone to wait until the beaches are open to get in Lake Michigan.
Two men died after going swimming in Lake Michigan near 31st Street.
The two hardworking taxi drivers who came to Chicago from Morocco were some 25 yards off shore and went under.
“We got weather that’s right around 90, and everyone thinks the water is that warm. It’s just above 50 degrees and that’ll really zap your energy real fast,” said Chicago Fire Chief Mike Fox.
Malika Oujebemah, the wife of victim Ali Moufid, had called 911.
“We were terrified. We didn’t know what to do,” said Oujebemah. “It was unimaginable.”
Rescue divers dropped from a helicopter into the eight foot deep water and found the men in a matter of minutes. They were brought ashore and paramedics worked to save them, but it was no use.
The two men, Ali Moufid and Othmane Kassou were rushed to Mercy Hospital where they were pronounced dead.
“He’s my best friend and we lost the best guy ever,” said Bachir Fagrouche, Moufid’s friend.
“His son is asking about him. Oh my god, what shall I tell my son,” said Oujebemah.
Othmane Kassou was a judo master who once represented the United States in an international competition in Atlanta.
The beaches have not been officially opened and there are no lifeguards on duty. Officials say the water is still about 50 degrees, which can drain your energy quicker.