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Authorities identify men who drowned in Lake Michigan

A witness shows Chicago Fire Department personnel where two men disappeared under water near 31st Street beach. |  Brian

A witness shows Chicago Fire Department personnel where two men disappeared under water near the 31st Street beach. | Brian Jackson/Sun-Times

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Updated: May 21, 2014 5:04PM

Two suburban men pulled from Lake Michigan on the South Side Tuesday drowned, autopsies Wednesday confirmed.

Ali Moufid, 36, Oak Lawn; and Otamane Kassou, 40, of Summit, died after going swimming off the beach at 31st Street, according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Autopsies found both men drowned and ruled their deaths accidents, the medical examiner’s office said.

Emergency crews pulled the two men, both shirtless, from the water off 31st Street Beach just before 4 p.m. Tuesday, authorities said.

Paramedics took them to Mercy Hospital and Medical Center where they were pronounced dead about half an hour later, officials said.

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 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 offshore from the beach — cold enough that if swimmers were in the water a short time, hypothermia could set in.

Despite an extra long winter, the water temperature is about average for May, Mott said.

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