Two swimmers die after being pulled from Lake Michigan near 31st Street
BY TINA SFONDELES Staff Reporter May 20, 2014 4:38PM
Chicago Fire Department rescue workers pulled two men from Lake Michigan near the 31st Street beach on Tuesday. They were taken in critical condition to Mercy Hospital. Police said both died. | Brian Jackson/Sun-Times
Updated: May 20, 2014 7:51PM
Two swimmers pulled from Lake Michigan on the South Side Tuesday afternoon have died, police said.
Emergency crews pulled the two men, both shirtless, from the water at 31st Street Beach about 3:50 p.m., authorities said.
Paramedics took them to Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in critical condition, Fire Media Affairs spokesman Will Knight said.
One man, 36, was pronounced dead at 4:20 p.m., and the other man, 40, was pronounced dead at 4:24 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
The medical examiner’s office did not release their identities pending notification of family members.
It’s unclear how far the men went into the water but just a few beachgoers Tuesday evening bared to dip their toes in the 55-degree water.
James Hogan, 30, of Bronzeville said he had a painful dip in the lake at one point on Tuesday.
“It’s very cold. You can’t stay in for more than 30 seconds. Otherwise it just hurts. It stings, like bee stings all over,” Hogan said.
National Weather Service meteorologist Charles Mott said the temperature dipped to 53 degrees beyond the shore of the beach — cold enough that if swimmers were in the water a short time hypothermia would set in. He said despite an extra long winter this year, the water temperature is average for May. He said despite an extra long winter this year, the water temperature is average for May.
Contributing: Sun-Times Media Wire