CHICAGO (CBS) — This past weekend marked the unofficial start of summer and the outdoor swimming season, and it was also marked by drownings and water rescues.
A Chicago man drowned in the Wisconsin River on Saturday at the Wisconsin Dells, while trying to swim to shore after he had been fishing in the river. Rescuers said he was swept away by the strong river current.
In north suburban Antioch, a 46-year-old man died after jumping in Loon Lake to save a cat.
In the Daytona Beach area of Florida, officials said three people drowned, and hundreds of swimmers had to be rescued after getting caught in strong rip currents.
Dave Benjamin, executive director of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, said there were three other drownings on the Great Lakes over the weekend – two in Lake Erie and one in Lake Ontario.
Benjamin said part of the problem is that too many people think they’re better swimmers than they are.
“Males have a tendency to overestimate their abilities twice as much as females; and four out of five drowning victims tend to be male,” he said.