Lake Michigan

CFD Suspends Search for Teen Swept Into Lake Michigan Monday

Rough surf and rip currents caused fire department divers to be called back from the waters of Lake Michigan

Chicago fire officials say a teen was swept into Lake Michigan on Monday, with divers hampered in their search efforts by high waves and strong rip currents.

According to CFD officials, the teen was reported to have fallen into the water in Diversey Harbor Monday afternoon. Divers began to search the lake for the teen, but stopped the search due to 4-to-6 foot waves and strong rip currents.

The mission has turned to a "recovery" mission as of Monday afternoon, according to officials.

CFD Deputy Chief Jason Lach said that residents need to stay away from the lake due to the bad conditions, as well as beach closures in effect because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“With water conditions and strong rip currents and high-water levels, precautions need to be taken by all people near this water,” he said. “Stay out of these conditions at all costs.”

Lach said the teen, who is between the ages of 14 and 16, was one of several teens who jumped into the water Monday afternoon. While the other three teens were able to get back to shore, the fourth was swept out into the lake, and has yet to be located.

"You need to stay out of the water tonight," Lach said. "The beaches are closed, and we need everyone to know that a good swimmer can have a bad day, even in nice conditions. The beaches and lakefront are hazardous at this point."

A lakeshore flood advisory has been issued for counties along Lake Michigan Monday afternoon. Coupled with record-high water levels, rescuers are having to battle the waves and conditions in their search.

As part of the flood advisory, residents are being urged to stay away from the lake, avoiding swimming and staying away from jetties, breakwaters and other structures near the water.

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