A 46-year-old Itasca man is dead after being rescued from Lake Michigan and a 52-year-old Elgin woman is still missing after a polar-plunge type event on Lake Michigan Sunday morning near Highland Park.
The Highland Park Fire Department along with the U.S. Coast Guard and numerous other fire departments responded shortly after 9 a.m. Sunday to the North Shore Yacht Club, 21 Park Avenue in Highland Park.
Emergency crews were called for a report of multiple people in the water on Lake Michigan. Everyone was able to get out of the water except for a 52-year-old Elgin woman and a 46-year-old Itasca man.
A Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) callout was issued to bring additional divers and boats to the scene from fire departments across the Cook County and Lake County area.
Divers were able to rescue the man shortly after they arrived but the woman was swept out into Lake Michigan and divers were unable to locate her. At least two ambulances were seen leaving the scene to the hospital, according to a witness.
The man, whose identity has not yet been publicly released, was pronounced dead at Highland Park Hospital. A fire department diver suffered a shoulder injury during the rescue, authorities added.
As of 4:30 p.m., the woman was still missing as rescuers continued to search for her, according to Highland Park officials. The U.S. Coast Guard and city officials said that the group of swimmers were at the beach for an independent polar-plunge type event.
A Gale Warning had been in effect by the National Weather Service during the time of the event, warning about high winds in the area. Winds of up to 40 knots and waves up to 14 feet were possible, according to the National Weather Service.
The City of Highland Park has notified cities along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Illinois and Wisconsin to monitor their beaches in case the woman turns up. Anyone with information about the missing woman is asked to call the Highland Park Police Department at 847-432-7730.
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