Identity Released for Missing “Race to Mackinac” Sailor Who Went Overboard Saturday

CBS 2’s Vi Nguyen has the latest on the search for a sailor who went overboard during the Race to Mackinac on Saturday afternoon.

A Race to Mackinac sailor, who went overboard about 2:45 p.m. Saturday July 21, 2018, is identified as Jon Santarelli, 53, of Lincoln Park in Chicago.

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended their search at darkness participating Saturday afternoon about four miles northeast of Navy Pier. The CPD Marine unit is continuing their search.

A boat in the race’s “turbo” section called the Imedi issued a man overboard alert around 2:45 p.m. Saturday, CFD Deputy District Chief Ron Dorneker said. Officials suspended the search after seven hours of search efforts. The Chicago Fire Department ended their search efforts at about 5:30 p.m. picked up from the search effort at 6 p.m., according to a post on the Chicago Fire Department’s official Twitter account.


CBS 2’s Audrina Bigos reports on the search for a sailor who went overboard during the Race to Mackinac event Saturday afternoon. Video includes press conference with CFD Chief of Dive Operations Ron Dorneker.

The racing yacht Imedi was just beyond the Chicago Harbor Breakwall when the ‘man overboard’ alert was issued, race officials said in a statement. The racing yacht was about 40 minutes into the race. The U.S. Coast Guard, CFD marine and dive operations, and police marine units all dispatched a water rescue response. The rescue response included helicopters from the U.S. Coast Guard and Chicago Fire Department. The Chicago Fire Department responded with fast boat 6-8-8 and their large fire boat Engine 2.

Four other boats from the turbo boat division stopped racing to go into rescue mode to assist with the search.


Jon Santorelli had more than a decade of offshore yacht racing experience, and was a core member of the Imedi Racing team as well as the greater Chicago sailing community, officials said.

More than 3,000 sailors from 39 states and 16 countries participated in the 110th annual race from the Chicago Harbor Lighthouse to Mackinac Island. The 333-mile race can take two to three days, depending on the winds, which at the beginning of the race were 10 MPH from the North, gusting to 15. Also, waves at the time were about 6 feet.








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