CHICAGO -- Deadly rip currents are keeping many swimmers away from Chicago area beaches.
Two men died in the lakefront overnight—and now dive teams from the fire department are warning swimmers to stay away.
The lakefront is one of the highlights of Chicago. But it’s off limits to swimmers Saturday, due to rip currents.
Swim bans are now in place at 15 city beaches and swim advisories are at another seven beaches. Waves topping upwards of six feet can be expected.
“These waves should be considered life threatening. You talk about rip currents. These are life threatening waves,” Chief Ron Dorneker, Chicago Fire Department, said.
Overnight, things were busy for members of the fire department’s marine unit.
Two separate incidents along the lakefront, demanded water rescues. Two men died.
The first happened at the 59th Street Harbor. Around 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning, divers pulled a 27-year-old man from the water in cardiac arrest.
The second incident happened at Oak Street Beach around 3:40 a.m. A man and woman got into trouble in the water.
The woman made it out, but the 28-year-old man went missing.
Dive teams later located him, and rushed him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
It’s a sobering warning for even the best of swimmers, like Addison Rausch who was on the swim team for years.
“You go out there and you can immediately feel how strong it is. Like pulling you,” Rausch said.
But visitors like Frederic Thibaut couldn’t resist jumping in the lake, at Oak Street Beach before he returns to France.
“Just a last date memory of Chicago," he said.
He said he didn’t know about Saturday’s swim ban, but knew enough to be cautious.
“I didn’t see so many people swim. I was wondering, if it was okay to swim,” Thibaut said. “I felt the waves. Some of them were quiet big.”
The National Weather Service has issued a beach hazard warning through Saturday evening.
For a complete and updated list of beaches under a warning or advisory, click here.