CHICAGO - A boat party on Lake Michigan was postponed Saturday as authorities continue to warn beachgoers and boaters about "life-threatening" high waves and dangerous rip currents following separate incidents early Saturday that left two men dead after they were pulled from the lake.
Jeremy D. Kennedy, 26, was getting off a boat early Saturday in the area of Jackson Park Beach near the 5900 block of South Lake Shore Drive when he fell in the water, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner's office. Other people on the boat then lost sight of him.
After being located by the police marine unit, Kennedy was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center where he died at 3:21 a.m., authorities said. He lived in the Washington Park neighborhood on the South Side.
Christopher Charnow, 28, died in a similar incident just over an hour later, according to the medical examiner's office. Authorities were called about 3:45 a.m. to Oak Street Beach near the 1000 block of North Lake Shore Drive. A woman was able to get out of the water on her own, but Charnow was lost in crashing waves, authorities said.
A Chicago Fire Department dive team tracked Charnow down, brought him to shore and then to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4:24 a.m., authorities said. He lived in Royal Oak, Michigan.
The National Weather Service issued a beach hazard statement Friday, warning of dangerous waves and currents. The warning remains in effect until 7 p.m. Saturday, with waves expected to reach 3 to 5 feet.
The Lake Michigan boat party near Navy Pier was postponed Saturday morning due to high waves, according to an Instagram post from the organizer, Chicago Scene Magazine. The event was rescheduled for Sunday.
"People visiting the beaches should stay out of the water," the NWS warning states.
The warning affects beaches in Lake and Cook counties in Illinois, plus northwest Indiana.
Swimming bans have been put in effect at several Chicago beaches, including 57th Street, Fargo, Foster, Hartigan, Helen Doria, Howard, Juneway, Leone, Loyola, MM Griffin, Montrose, Oak Street, Osterman, Rogers and Tobey Prinz. Swim advisories have been posted at several others, including Humboldt, Lane, MT Burroughs, North Avenue, North Shore, Ohio Street, Rainbow and South Shore.
The Chicago Fire Department held a press conference Saturday morning near North Avenue Beach to further warn of the dangerous conditions. Officials advised beachgoers to pay attention to lifeguards and any posted advisories from the Chicago Park District.
For information on swim bans at Chicago beaches, visit www.cpdbeaches.com.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire - Copyright Chicago Sun-Times 2017.)