A body was discovered in a suburban harbor along Lake Michigan Thursday amid the search for a 19-year-old man who disappeared in the water at Winnetka’s Elder Lane Beach this week.
The body was located in Wilmette Harbor, just south of the Winnetka beach where a swimmer was reported missing Tuesday, according to the Wilmette Fire Department. Fire officials said they were handing the investigation to police following the recovery, but did not offer any additional details.
No identity has been released, but Winnetka first responders and the U.S. Coast Guard had been searching the water for a 19-year-old man who early Tuesday went into Lake Michigan at Elder Lane Beach and did not resurface.
At approximately 2 a.m. Tuesday, the Winnetka Fire Department responded to reports of a man who went into the water at 299 Sheridan Rd with two others. According to the Village of Winnetka, the man was “pulled under the water and did not resurface.”
Later Tuesday, the Village of Winnetka described the incident as a “public accident.”
The water rescue Tuesday drew a large emergency presence from both the Winnetka and Wilmette Fire Departments, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard. However, efforts were halted at the time due to high winds, waves and “life-threatening currents.”
The National Weather Service issued a beach hazards statement Tuesday with a high swim risk along all northeastern Illinois and northwestern Indiana beaches, saying large waves and “life-threatening currents” would result in dangerous swimming and boating conditions at Lake Michigan.
Wind gusts of more than 35 miles per hour, along with waves of up to 10 feet were reported along the lake, the NBC 5 Storm Team said.
According to officials, the U.S. Coast Guard cannot operate rescue helicopters in winds in excess of 35 miles per hour. Additionally, the maximum wave height a U.S. Coast Guard rescue boat can operate in is eight feet.
Family members later confirmed that the missing swimmer was a 19-year-old man. It remains unclear if the body recovered is that of the missing swimmer.