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Chicago man dead after his boat was seen empty, crashed near Wind Point Lighthouse Thursday

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A Chicago man who has now died was found unresponsive Thursday night after his boat was found unoccupied and crashed near the Wind Point Lighthouse, the Racine County Sheriff’s Office has reported.

The initial emergency call was made at 4:45 p.m. Thursday after a sailboat was spotted crashed on a sandbar below the lighthouse in Lake Michigan, about 200 yards from shore, the RCSO reported; the boat’s motor appeared to be running, but no one was on board.

The Racine County Sheriff’s Office’s water rescue team began a search, with a U.S. Coast Guard rescue helicopter being called in to assist.

According to a release, “After an extensive 3-hour search, the 60-year-old Chicago man was located nearly 2 miles from shore, south of (Samuel) Myers Park. He was unresponsive and wearing his personal flotation device.”

Myers Park is more than four miles south of the Wind Point Lighthouse.

First responders attempted to resuscitate him and, upon getting him back to shore, the Racine Fire Department transported him to Ascension All Saints Hospital, but he never woke up.

According to the RCSO, “Family stated he was last spoken to via phone around 2:00 PM where he was moving his boat from the Chicago area to Racine for the summer.” The Sheriff’s Office said that while the investigation continues, “no foul play is suspected.”

The release concluded: “The Racine County Sheriff’s Office would like to extend our sincerest condolences to the victim’s family.”

This marks the first Lake Michigan death of 2022 along Racine County’s coast. In 2021, there were five drownings on four separate days.

On Tuesday, Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave in his State of the County address outlined plans the county has to increase safety on the water. Among new plans are launching new remote-control buoys controlled by lifeguards, adding signage, establishing beacons to notify the public of water conditions and introducing buoy barriers to create defined swimming areas.


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