Dangerous Waves Claim 2 Lives On Chicago’s Lakefront

CHICAGO (CBS) — A 28-year-old man died after firefighters pulled him from the water near Oak Street Beach early Saturday morning; making him the second victim to die in rough waters in the past 24-hours.

CBS 2’s Lauren Victory reports that authorities were called to Oak Street Beach around 3:45 a.m.

First responders say a woman who was in the water was able to get herself out, but firefighters needed to go after the man caught in the waves. They said they had a difficult time rescuing him.

The victim was in extremely critical condition when he was pulled out; he was taken to Northwestern Hospital, where he later died.

“These aren’t rip currents — these are dangerous waves to be in. These are going to knock you off your feet,” said Ron Dorneker, who’s with the Chicago Fire Department’s Dive and Marine Unit.

Why the two were in the water, and how the man drowned, is still under investigation, but fire officials said they think the rip currents currently in Lake Michigan played a role.

The National Weather Service issued a Beach Hazard Statement Friday morning, warning people not to go in the lake along Chicago’s shoreline.

12 of Chicago’s 27 beaches have a swim ban or advisories until further notice.

“Maybe everybody’s not getting the message. I understand it’s summer, the water is 70 degrees, so it’s nice to be in this water — but we just have to be a little bit smarter about this,” Dorneker said.

The Deputy Chief of the Dive and Marine Unit said the winds will subside over the weekend, but doesn’t expect the water to calm down until Tuesday or Wednesday.

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