CHICAGO — The National Weather Service is advising people not to swim in Lake Michigan on Tuesday or Wednesday. A beach hazard warning is in effect for Lake Michigan beaches in Illinois through Wednesday afternoon.
Potentially deadly rip currents, structural currents and high waves are expected. Waves could reach as high as eight feet Tuesday, the weather service said. People are advised not to go into the lake.
Rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from shore. They often occur at low spots and can pull swimmers deeper into the water. Structural currents form along piers and can also sweep swimmers deeper into the lake.
For more information on swim advisories or bans at Chicago beaches, visit cpdbeaches.com.
The beach hazard warning comes after three boys drowned in Lake Michigan over the weekend.
At 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, 10-year-old Joshua Torres of Chicago was found facedown in the water about 40 yards off shore on the west side of Indiana Dunes State Park. He was was taken to Porter Regional Hospital, and airlifted to Comer Children's Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Less than an hour later, officials received a call of a juvenile missing in the same general area after witnesses saw him go under the water. Rescuers located 14-year-old Malik Freeman of Aurora within a few minutes, and he was pulled from Lake Michigan in critical condition. Freeman was treated at a Porter regional hospital and airlifted to Comer Children’s Hospital, where he later passed away.
Earlier in the weekend, an unidentified 14-year-old boy went under the water as he was swam by a breakwall at the pier at Waukegan Harbor with three other teens Friday evening. Fire department divers found him around 30 minutes later, and while they attempted to resuscitate him on the scene, he was later declared dead, the Lake County Coroner told the Chicago Tribune.
There have been 21 drownings in Lake Michigan so far this year, according to Dave Benjamin of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project. Indiana beaches were experiencing four-foot waves and strong currents on Saturday, according to reports.
"It’s kind of a perfect recipe: warm, wind waves on a weekend to have an incident," Benjamin said.