UPDATED: 14-Year-Old Boy Drowns Near Gillson Park
Evanston boy dies in Lake Michigan while swimming in an unpatrolled area
This article has been updated as of 10:36 a.m. on Aug. 28.
An unidentified 14-year-old Evanston boy drowned Saturday afternoon near Gillson Park in Lake Michigan, according to Wilmette Police Chief Brian King.
The teen "had been swimming off of the pier with several friends when a wave pulled him under and he did not resurface," according to a Wilmette Police statement released late Saturday. Almost two hours after being called to the scene, officials found the boy "200 yards south of where he was last seen" and transported him to an Evanston Hospital. The teen was soon pronounced dead. His identity is being withheld and will be released after extended family have been notified, according to police.
According to King, the boy and his friends were swimming in a no-swim part of the lake. The area is owned by the Wilmette Park District, who previously told Patch that while it isn't guarded, there are several signs that indicate swimming restrictions.
The Wilmette Police and Fire Department were joined by officials from several neighboring communities as well as the U.S. Coast Guard in the search for the boy near the South Beach area of Gillson Park. Whether he was swimming alone or with a companion was not immediately clear.
According to the Fire Department report, strong northeast winds were in the area in addition to a heavy surf. A Rip Current warning had been issued by the National Weather Service earlier in the afternoon. Just a few days ago, the Coast Guard had warned swimmers to take caution because of strong winds and rough conditions in the lake.
This was the second incident this month to occur at Gillson Park as the Chicago Tribune reported that an 18-year-old man was rescued by Coast Guard officials on Aug. 4.
Stay tuned to Patch for more on the story.