One Child Critical, Five People Transported to 2 Hospitals After Overcrowded Boat Capsized in the South Branch of the Chicago River Near 18th St, Chicago


Nine people were on a small boat when it flipped over on the South Branch of the Chicago River.

Police and firefighter/paramedics, and divers responded about 6:38 p.m. Wednesday July 22, 2020 to a report that a boat capsized in the South Branch of the Chicago River near the Amtrak bridge — about 1500 to 1900 South Lumber Street. The US Coast boat was also on the scene by about 6:42 p.m. Engine 2 Fireboat was also on the scene.

UPDATE: The child that was trapped under the boat has died. Eight of nine people survived.

Nine people were aboard and everyone was wearing life jackets when the boat capsized, according to the US Coast Guard and police and firefighters on the scene. One victim was still missing at about 7:00 p.m. Five ambulances responded to the scene.

Six people were already out of the water by 6:50 p.m. and also two people were being rescued out of the water at about 6:50 p.m. One victim, a 7-year-old, was missing, and two divers were dropped in the water from a Chicago Fire Department helicopter. The child was found trapped underneath the boat after it capsized. The child was rescued out of the river with CPR on the west bank of the river by about 7:06 p.m. The child was transferred up to an ambulance at street level at about 7:10 p.m. Divers were out of the water by about 7:14 p.m.

A Chicago police marine unit was also on the scene with the crew involved in the below-surface rescue. Truck 4’s crew was assigned to bring a 30-foot ladder to a pier by Wentworth.

The 7-year-old male victim was transported to Mercy Hospital and listed in critical condition.

Five people were transported to University of Illinois Hospital, where they were listed in good condition. Three people refused paramedic transport.

There were four children among the nine people on board the boat.

Good Samaritans also helped with the rescue, and Illinois Conservation police also responded to the scene.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

A child is in critical condition after a boat overturned Wednesday night in the Chicago River.



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