EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) — Rescue crews in Evanston late Saturday found the body of a missing man who went underwater in Lake Michigan and didn’t resurface.
The man’s body was found offshore from at Clark Street Beach, near Northwestern University, and it wasn’t the first time fire department divers went into the water after someone on this dangerous day on the lake.READ MORE: Another Victim Of Serial Killer John Wayne Gacy Identified: Francis Wayne Alexander, Of North Carolina
As CBS 2’s Steven Graves reported, the chain of events all started with a successful rescue mission of three people around 1 p.m.
Two of them were a mother and child who were stuck near a break wall. When a man went out to help them, he also got stranded.
“They ended up going under. They ended up having a hard time coming back up,” said a witness, Roberto. “The waves were pretty high.”
Rescuers took the mom and daughter and the man who went in after them to the hospital. Video showed the girl being led off the beach.
The mother was left in critical condition, while the daughter and the man were in good condition.
The fire chief said the beach was closed. Rip currents are dangerous, which most likely led to these rescues and now a search.
“The waters are very unpredictable. It could be beautiful day, but you don’t know what the waters are doing,” said Evanston Fire Chief Paul Polep. “So that’s why beaches are closed. That’s why you should be very mindful of what you are doing before you go in the water. Be well aware of all of your surroundings.”
First responders later cleared the beach, and made a troubling discovery. They found clothes and an ID left behind.
A city spokesperson said they checked nearby surveillance video showing the man who later died entering the water. This happened before emergency crews arrived for the earlier rescue incident, the fire department said.READ MORE: Teen Charged In Pair Of September 2020 Carjackings On South Side
A group of men who reported they were friends of the victim rushed to the scene, after they said the 21-year-old man’s family called them.
Those men were later seen wheeling what they said was their friend’s bike from the scene. Many were holding out for answers for some time afterward.
Meanwhile, the Evanston Fire Department brought in dive crews from other area fire departments – including the Chicago Fire Department and the U.S. Coast Guard. Sonar was also deployed.
Around 9 p.m. – seven hours after the search began – Evanston fire crews found the man’s body following a seven-hour search operation.
“At 9 o’clock, our divers made a recovery. The body is identified who we thought it would be. I’m not giving that information right now, so now everyone is accounted for – not in the greatest way, but everyone is accounted for,” Polep said.
Polep then walked away as the man’s family yelled nearby.
The man who died was identified Sunday as Hussin Abdul-Samad.
While the beach is closed to swimming, the sand is open during daytime hours. Crews hammered home the need to be safe.
CBS 2 Meteorologist Tammie Souza reported northeast winds sent waves rolling across the lake that caused dangerous rip currents Saturday.MORE NEWS: Desperate To Find More Staff, Some Fast Food Restaurants Recruiting Customers
Waves were cresting at 1 foot Friday night, but were in excess of 5 feet on the shoreline during the day Saturday. Late Saturday night, they were down to 2 to 3 feet, and conditions on Sunday were expected to be calmer.