8 rescued when 5 boats capsize in Lake Michigan, Evanston fire officials say

ByEric Horng and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, October 7, 2022
8 rescued when 5 boats capsize in Lake Michigan in Evanston
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Evanston fire officials said 8 people were rescued when 5 boats, including 2 from the Northwestern University sailing club, capsized in Lake Michigan.

EVANSTON, Ill. (WLS) -- Eight people were rescued in Evanston after five boats capsized on Lake Michigan, fire officials said.

Evanston Fire Chief Paul Polep said everyone on all the boats are accounted for, and some people were able to get back to shore on their own. No injuries have been reported.

A spokesperson from Northwestern University said two of the boats that capsized were from the Northwestern Sailing Club.

The incident happened near Clark Street Beach and the Dempster Street Boat Launch.

A sudden change of weather around 5 p.m. caused roiling waves that caught boaters off guard.

"The lake kind of flipped on us and capsized some boats. Multiple people in the water. We had a full water response," Polep said.

Winds howled, sending a windsurfer flying through the air and into the lake. A lifeguard directed rescue boats to where people needed help.

While some people were evaluated at the scene, none needed to be taken to hospitals for treatment. Given the height of the waves, officials said it was fortunate no one was hurt.

"It was quite a bit of swimming, quite a bit of effort on all the people out," said Polep.