Lifeguards Rescue Windsurfer Taken Down by Waves

Beach hazards warning in effect through Wednesday afternoon

By Anthony Ponce and Charlie Wojciechowski
|  Monday, Aug 26, 2013  |  Updated 12:43 PM CDT
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Despite warnings due to rough waters and strong undercurrents, many people took to the beach on Tuesday to enjoy the warm weather and the big waves.

Despite warnings due to rough waters and strong undercurrents, many people took to the beach on Tuesday to enjoy the warm weather and the big waves.

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A windsurfer taking advantage of raging Lake Michigan waves needed help getting out of the water on Tuesday afternoon.

John McDermott was in the water off of South Boulevard Beach, in Evanston, when he said the winds were picking up and it was just too much for him to handle. Lifeguards jumped in and helped get him back to the safety of the shoreline.

Officials in Evanston earlier in the day had shut down all its beaches to swimmers due to unsafe  wave conditions.

The National Weather Service issued a beach hazards warning as of 9 a.m. Tuesday that was scheduled to last through Wednesday afternoon. The waves were caused by "unseasonably large waves" as cold air began to blow down the length of Lake Michigan and churn the water.

The waves were expected to build between 10 and 12 feet, especially along Chicago's lakefront paths where hundreds bike and run daily. The waves are described as dangerous and pounding, coupled with "life-threatening rip currents," according to the National Weather Service.

Swimmers were advised to stay out of the water during this period of dangerous conditions, and those using the paths were urged to use extreme caution.

The National Weather Service credits the unusually large waves with strong northerly winds and cooler air over warmer lake water.

 

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