CHICAGO — Two women are in critical condition after a boating accident on Chicago’s Lake Michigan.
The accident happened around 5 p.m. Saturday in the no-wake zone north of Navy Pier, an area referred to as “the Playpen.”
The women were transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious-to-critical condition, according to officials.
Ted Widen was in the playpen Saturday and told WGN News he was among the many people who witnessed the horrific accident.
“I saw this one boat backing up a very long distance between my boat and a friend of mine’s boat,” Widen said. “He came between us and kept backing up and backing up and backing up.”
Widen said the boat slammed into a group floating on a mat, next to another boat.
“Probably eight or 10 people swimming on that pad as that guy backed into the Lilypad,” Widen said. “When you’re in reverse, you literally suck people into your propellers.”
Another boater and Widen’s friend, who did not wish to speak with WGN News, helped pull a husband and wife out of the water.
“One of the girls that had the hand injury,” Widen said. “She was hugging and holding her husband. She was in shock, drowning him, crawling on him to keep out of the water.”
One woman’s hand was apparently mangled in the crash and another woman lost part of her leg. Fortunately, a nearby boat was able to help, with all involved thankful of the occurrence.
“We were just trying to show people this is a cool boat and it can drive up on a lawn,” Widen said. “Who’d have thought it would also save people’s lives? It’s amazing.”