An 18-year-old man died after being pulled from the waters of Lake Michigan Wednesday afternoon in north suburban Winthrop Harbor.
The Winthrop Harbor Fire Department’s emergency rescue boat was launched shortly after 12:10 p.m. after a report of a swimmer underwater in Lake Michigan near Camp Logan in Illinois Beach State Park, according to a statement from the fire department.
Witnesses told authorities that 18-year-old JC Lindsey of Zion had been swimming about 50 yards from the shore when he went under the surface of the water, according to the Lake County coroner’s office and fire officials. A kayaker was able to find him about 5-10 feet underwater after at least 10 minutes of searching.
Lindsey, who was not breathing when he was pulled from the lake, was taken to Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan and pronounced dead, authorities said.
Preliminary autopsy results suggested he drowned, the coroner’s office said. The autopsy did not rule on his final cause and manner of death pending toxicology results.
Fire officials urged people to be “extra cautious” when swimming in Lake Michigan.
“The currents and undertow can change without notice and even the strongest swimmers can struggle to control themselves,” the statement said. “If you must swim when there are no lifeguards present, we urge swimmers to stay in groups and maintain constant communication with each other.”