Family identifies man missing in lake

October 3, 2011 4:38:48 AM PDT
A recovery mission was under way over the weekend on the Gold Coast where a man went into the lake near Oak Street Beach.

Jillian Alvarez identified the man as her father James Garcia of west suburban Berkley.

The fire department called off its search efforts around 11 p.m. Saturday, once it became obvious that the mission had become a recovery effort, instead of a rescue effort. The U.S. Coast Guard and the Chicago Police Department were out for a couple of extra hours until approximately 1 a.m.

Authorities were on the choppy water searching again by 8 a.m. Sunday, and a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter also was spotted scanning the lakefront.

The initial call came in just after 9:30 p.m. Saturday. ABC7 Chicago is told the man jumped into the water thinking that he would go for a swim. There were reports from police that he was at the beach with family members and that, while they attempted to save him when he initially went in, they were not able to hold on.

A police marine unit boat reportedly was able to locate and reach the man, but officers were not able to bring him aboard because the waves were too high.

Also on Saturday night, Garcia's family members say a pregnant cousin apparently suffered a panic attack at the scene and was taken to the hospital.

The search for Garcia will continue Monday morning.

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