High School Senior Swept Into Lake Michigan by High Wave: CFD

A high school senior was swept into Diversey Harbor Thursday amid high waves in Lake Michigan, the Chicago Fire department said.

The East Aurora High School student was with a friend seeking a better view when a wave hit the pier, sweeping the boy from behind into the water, a friend of the victim told NBC Chicago. 

The CFD received a call over the incident around 11:44 a.m., and four divers tried to find the boy but were unsuccessful, according to Chicago Fire Department Larry Langford.

The fire department called off water search around 1 p.m. because there was no visibility in the water, which was 33 degrees, Langford said. The area of the search was under extreme agitation, making it dangerous for divers at that point, he added. 

Later in the afternoon, police dive teams began searching the water, according to Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Bari Lemmon. They suspended the search late Thursday but said they will return Friday.

"It's tumbling, it's very dangerous, it was very difficult. There's zero visibility for our divers down there looking They were unable to locate the victim at this time," said Ron Dorneker of the CFD. "The lakefront's really dangerous right now with these waves that are washing around this lakefront area and around the path here and this is an example of how dangerous it could be."

Friends of the parents of the victim were on vacation in Mexico and were informed of the tragedy Thursday afternoon.

"He was a fun-loving guy," said a friend of the victim who didn't want to be identified. 

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