The body was pulled from the lake Tuesday afternoon. Relatives say the man and his date both jumped in the water at Montrose Harbor on Monday. She survived and was critical condition Tuesday night.
"He was a really nice brother," said Lecsany Martinez. "He was always caring for everyone."
The family of 20-year-old Victor Martinez said he was on a first date Sunday evening, walking at Montrose Harbor when the girl he was with jumped into Lake Michigan, and he jumped in to rescue her when she did not emerge.
"They came out with some friends and fortunately that's the kind of guy he was," said Eric Rosales. "He tried to save her."
Police confirmed that divers rescued Martinez's date, a young woman in her 20s from the harbor at 2 a.m. Monday. She was taken to Weiss Memorial Hospital.
On Tuesday afternoon, a marine unit recovered Martinez's body from Lake Michigan as the family watched. A makeshift memorial honoring Martinez was placed at the site where he perished. The victim's brother-in-law said Martinez always thought of others first.
"He'll do anything to help somebody if he can," Rosales said. "I knew I could count on him. If I needed something I could call him up, he was there for me, for his family. He was a great guy, he was responsible."
The family said that Martinez was a hard worker, full of life. He was a brother, a son and uncle. He was in the process of planning a birthday party for his nephew.
The drowning is under investigation.