CHICAGO — The death of an off-duty Chicago firefighter who died Sunday while swimming has been ruled an accidental drowning, according to the Cook County medical examiner.

The firefighter, identified as 43-year-old Wilbert Hayes, was swimming with his family in Lake Michigan after his shift when the incident occurred.

According to the Chicago Fire Department, Hayes’ death will be considered an “off-duty accidental death of an active-duty member.”

Visitation and funeral services have been set for the fallen firefighter.

“It is my sad duty to inform you that Engineer/EMT Wilbert B. Hayes assigned to Engine 16 died
Sunday, July 30, 2023. As Fire Commissioner, I encourage all members of the Fire Department
to join me in paying our respects. I further encourage all off-duty members to attend and
participate in the service,” Fire Commissoner Annette Nance-Holt said in an announcement.

Visitation for Hayes will be held Wednesday, Aug. 9 at Chapel Hill Gardens West Funeral Home, located at 17W201 Roosevelt Road, in Oak Brook Terrace.