Beach hazard remains as two men rescued from Lake Michigan
BY BRIAN SLODYSKO Staff Reporter September 14, 2013 1:24AM
The shore of Lake Michigan is a place to avoid, according to the National Weather Service, which has issued a beach hazard alert in effect until Saturday morning.
Large waves are expected to pummel the shoreline overnight while a powerful rip current posses a threat to anyone in the water, according to the alert, which applies to Lake, Cook and Porter counties.
Meanwhile, a strong “structural current” ebbing and flowing around the area’s piers and breakwalls could also suck anyone unlucky enough to be in the water out into the lake’s deeper waters, the alert states.
More simply put, the advisory, which was first issued early Thursday, states: “Stay out of the water.”
But that didn’t stop two men on Friday from doing just that.
In north suburban Wilmette, authorities were called to Gillson Park after a wind surfer briefly went missing in the lake, officials said.
Wilmette police Cmdr. Patrick Collins said dispatchers got a call shortly after 3:30 p.m. about the missing windsurfer. First responders were called off within minutes after the man was found.
The surfer nonetheless had quite a fright, police said.
“He was stressed. They called out fire department units and he was checked by the paramedics, checked out OK, and released,” Collins said.
In Chicago, during Friday’s early morning hours, a man was pulled from Lake Michigan at Rogers Park Beach after he was swept away by the current, police said.
The man, 41, was walking his dog about 1:35 a.m. when the dog ran off, police said. The man chased after the dog when it jumped into the lake, but was swept away.
Officers found him clinging to a breakwall about 2 a.m., police said.
According to officers on the scene, the man was about a block out when police found him after about 20 minutes of searching.
He was taken to Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston in good condition, Fire Media Affairs said.
The beach hazard warning is in effect until 5 a.m., according to the weather service.
Friday evening the forecast calls for scattered showers and a high of 62 on Friday, according to the Weather Service. North and northeast winds between 15 and 20 mph are possible.