One Safe, One Missing After Both People Were in a Channel in Rough Water Near Municipal Beach, Waukegan


Waukegan police, firefighter/paramedics responded just before 5:05 p.m. to a report of a person in the water in Lake Michigan near 200 Sea Horse Drive. At 5:05 p.m. firefighters, divers and side scan sonar technicians from neighboring communities responded to the report that a person fell into a channel near Municipal Beach, 200 Sea Horse Drive in Waukegan. A National Weather Lakeshore Flood Advisory that advises people to stay off piers, jetties and breakwall was active at the time of the incident.

Waukegan Fire Department stated that a caller “advised that a second subject jumped in to try and rescue the first subject and they were both struggling. While fire units were responding we were advised that one subject was out of the water and in need of medical attention.”

Waukegan Fire Department officials confirmed that a person who fell into a channel off Municipal Beach on Friday was located and transported to Vista East Medical Center late Friday afternoon, but a second person said to have gone in the water was not located after more than 90 minutes of searching.

A MABAS Division 4 Box Alarm for an Open Water Rescue was activated at 5:05 p.m. The Box Alarm staging address was 200 Sea Horse Drive at the pier south of the volleyball court.

About 6:30 p.m., Fire Marshal Steve Lenzi reported in a statement that “worsening weather conditions” were impacting attempts to locate the second person.

According to the statement, fire department personnel responded to an area near the main pier off the beach near the Stiner Pavilion “for a subject who slipped off the pier and into the water.”

Lake IL-Cook-Lake IN-
819 PM CST Fri Jan 18 2019


* LAKE SHORE FLOODING…Onshore winds of 30 to 35 mph will produce waves of 7 to 10 ft. The large waves and strong winds will drive up lake levels, which are already above average.

* TIMING…Early Saturday through mid Sunday morning

* IMPACTS…Minor flooding is likely along the Illinois and Lake County Indiana shoreline, including along the Chicago lakefront bike path in the typical flood prone areas.

* SAFETY…Avoid flood prone areas along the lakeshore and stay off of structures such as piers, jetties and breakwalls.


A Lakeshore Flood Advisory indicates that onshore winds will generate flooding of low areas along the lakeshore.

A witness was interviewed by Waukegan fire and police personnel who led searchers to a point where the missing person was last seen was seen, according to the Waukegan Fire Department statement. Divers “immediately began search efforts for the missing subject and a (mutual aid) box was called for additional divers.”

“Scene conditions made operations extremely difficult and very hazardous for rescuers,” the statement added. “After approximately one hour and thirty minutes of searching in-water with very limited visibility and treacherous wave conditions, the divers were still unable to locate the missing subject and the operations were switched to involve side scan sonar technicians searing via a boat operation.”

The person pulled from the water was transported to Vista East Medical Center in Waukegan, according to the statement. Initially no information about the medical condition of the hospitalized victim was released.

Conditions at the Lake Michigan shoreline are expected to worsen. The National Weather Service issued a Lakeshore Flood Advisory at 8:19 PM, which the National Weather Service state “remains in effect from 6 AM Saturday to 9 AM Sunday. The most recent prior Lake Shore Flood Advisory was issued at 2:54 PM CST Friday.



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