Lake Michigan drowning: Swimmer dies after going underwater for 40 minutes at Promontory Point

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A swimmer died after going underwater for more than a half hour Thursday afternoon in Lake Michigan, according to the Chicago Fire Department.

The young man became submerged about 1 p.m. at Promontory Point in the 5500-block of South Lake Shore Drive near Burnham Park, according to CFD spokesman Larry Merritt.

Divers were searching for him in "very rough" waters until pulling him out about 40 to 45 minutes later, the department said on Twitter.

The man, believed to be in his 20s, was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, the department said.

Officials have not yet identified the individual, who was with his friends at the time of his disappearance. He told his friends he was going for a swim and "was a good swimmer."

"Please keep in mind Lake Michigan is turbulent with severe undertow," the department said in on Twitter. "Beaches are closed and rock walls are especially dangerous to swim near. A CFD rescue diver got out of the water and said it was like a 'washing machine.' Please stay out of the lake."

So far in 2020, at least 17 others have drowned in Lake Michigan, according to the Great Lake Surf Project, which tracks drownings.

Sun-Times Media contributed to this report.
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