Body of missing swimmer recovered from Lake Michigan

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Fire Department dive teams recovered the body of a 55-year-old man who witnesses said had jumped into Lake Michigan overnight to go for a swim.

The man and a woman went into the water near in the 5500-block of North Lake Shore Drive in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood, police said. When the woman got out of the water, she noticed the man was struggling. She and a friend tried to help him, but they lost sight of him and called 911 around 12:45 a.m.

"We arrived on scene and spoke to two witnesses, who told us that there was a person that had been swimming in the water here at this location," CFD Marine and Dive Operations Deputy District Chief Ron Dorneker said overnight.

Divers tried to find the missing swimmer, but they had to call off the search just before 2:15 a.m. because of dangerous water conditions and limited visibility.

"Difficult area to search due to these wind and wave conditions. The fire department had two divers in the water, conducted the search. We did a thorough search, using our helicopters, flare camera and land unit searching the area. At this time we find nothing," Dorneker said.

The search resumed later Thursday morning, as the waves crashed along the shore. The 55-year-old man's body was found near Montrose Dog Beach. CFD officials confirmed the death. Police confirmed the body was that of the missing swimmer. Authorities have not yet released the man's identity.

A beach hazard was issued from early Thursday to Friday afternoon, warning of life-threatening, 5- to 7-foot waves along Lake Michigan beaches. Anyone visiting the beach Thursday should stay out of the water.
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