CHICAGO (CBS) — A man drowned midday Wednesday in deceptively calm waters off Illinois Beach State Park, just south of the Wisconsin state line.
The 18-year-old victim began to struggle while swimming with a friend off the park’s North Unit. Eyewitnesses told police that the man screamed and tried to swim some more before going under.
Those on shore called 911; and rescue teams from Beach Park, Winthrop Harbor, and Zion responded quickly. Almost immediately, they found the man in 5-to-10 feet of water, but he was not breathing, and neither waiting paramedics nor doctors at Vista East Hospital in Waukegan could revive him.
Police and fire officials emphasized the importance of swimming in groups, and said undertow can exist that can challenge even proficient swimmers even beneath deceptively calm surface water.