CHICAGO — A video released by the Chicago Police Department Sunday shows officers jumping into action to pull a man from the icy waters of Lake Michigan Saturday morning.
There are barriers warning people that the lakefront trails are closed because of the icy conditions, but they’re not enough to keep people away from the lakefront — or out of the water.
Surveillance video captured the scene just before 7 a.m. Saturday, as the temperature was in the teens but the wind chill made it feel like five degrees. An unnamed 22-year-old can be seen walking on the lakefront trail downtown, falling once on the ice before getting up and continuing on his way.
Moving close to the ledge, he continues on his way down the lakeshore path until he moves out of view. Suddenly, a jogger seems to see him slip and splash into the icy water.
The jogger heads to Lake Shore Drive and frantically tries to flag down cars as they pass by, but when no one stops, they hop the barrier and run for help. The man struggles in the frigid water, keeping his head above the water as his hands slip on the surface of the shoreline.
Then, two chicago police SWAT officers in navy blue sprint straight across the snow, toss their protective vests aside and without hesitation stretch headfirst above the icy waters to pull the man to safety.
Other first responders rushed in with rescue equipment, and blankets, before taking the man to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition.
Annie Reef frequently jogs along the lakefront, and said she thinks about how it’s possible to fall into the water every time she goes on a run.
“I mean, you slip all the time, and you just hope nothing bad happens, I mean it’s great they were able to come so quickly,” Reef said.
The whole rescue took less than 10 minutes. The identity of the man who fell in the water has not been made public, but the heroic officers plan to speak with reporters later this week.