Bryan Jackson remains missing after going swimming in Lake Michigan

Woman pulled from Montrose Harbor dies, Cook County ME says

Wednesday, September 6, 2023
Man remains missing after going swimming in Lake Michigan
The Coast Guard and Chicago police searched in Lake Michigan for Bryan Jackson, a father of two who went missing while swimming.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A man who went swimming in Lake Michigan remains missing Wednesday morning.

Officials received a call after 9 a.m. Tuesday for a person missing from a 27 foot boat about one mile from the shore. Friends on the boat told authorities that person went out for a swim just north of 31st Street Beach and never returned.

After an hour or so, the rescue effort was declared a recovery mission and handed over to the Coast Guard and police. They continued the search until 8:30 p.m. with no luck.

His children's mother, Tanya Lozano-Washington, identified him as Bryan Jackson and said he was with friends boating when he jumped into the water and had trouble.

"They're calling it no longer a rescue. They're calling it a recovery. That's unfair; we haven't even been looking for this man for 48 hours," she said. "He's an athlete, he could very well have survived this. He could very well be somewhere, maybe even unconscious."

She said Jackson is an athlete, a trainer, and that she doesn't know why more isn't being done to retrieve him.

"If this was a young white girl, there would have been boats and boats and boats of people out here looking for her," Lozano-Washington said. "There needs to be an investigation. We want a thorough investigation. Not just he drowned and forget it, and now it's just a recovery."

This incident occurred after a busy weekend Labor Day weekend on Lake Michigan. According to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, at least 35 people have drowned in Lake Michigan so far this year, and now with lifeguards no longer working for the season, the message should be clear to avoid the water.

"A better message would be - entering the water may cause serious injury or death that should be replacing 'swim at your own risk' again because people are not swimming in the water, they are wading, or they don't know the risk of water or both," Dave Benjamin, executive director of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, said. "It's kind of like a get out of liability free card."

Just Tuesday, a woman was pulled from the water at Montrose Harbor after 2 a.m. She was rushed to a hospital in very critical condition.

Wednesday morning, the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office said the woman was pronounced dead.

Earlier that night, a 27-year-old man was with a group of people jumping into the lake near 49th Street Beach. The man never came back up.

Officials found him, and rushed him to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he died. He was identified to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office as Kenyatta Freeman of Dolton.