Overnight Swim in Lake Michigan Results in Drowning, Alcohol a Factor

AUG 15 2007 CHICAGO — Mateusz Kowalczyk, 17, of the 5100 block of South Luna Avenue was pulled from the water by Chicago Fire Department divers lowered into the lake from a Chicago Fire Department helicopter shortly before 2 a.m. while the Chicago Police Marine Unit assisted.

Mateusz Kowalczyk was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital at about 2:30 a.m.

Mateusz Kowalczyk was swimming with friends at about 1:20 a.m. in Lake Michigan near Fullerton Parkway [MAP/SAT]. One of three friends, Joe Lopez, 21, heard splashing and the sounds of struggle behind him, and then saw Kowalczyk go under the surface of the Lake Michigan water. The friend swam to help Kowalczyk, but was unable to keep Kowalczyk’s head above the water surface.

An autopsy revealed Mateusz Kowalczyk died of drowning while intoxicated by alcohol.