CHICAGO — While the Friday Swim Club meet up was reportedly cancelled, early morning swimmers still showed up and took a dip.
“It was smaller, definitely smaller than in previous weeks but the vibe was still good,” member Sruti Ramadugo said.
From first timers to repeat visitors, the cancellation of the swim club did not stop people from showing up and jumping in.
“I for some reason thought since it was cancelled it wouldn’t be too crowded but as soon as I got in the area, figured out that wasn’t the case,” another member Andreas Endregaard said.
The swim club announced on social media that they would not be hosting the meet up, which meant no coffee or their ritualistic organized jump.
For the last two years, people have gathered and jumped at 7:10 a.m. every Friday which goes against the Chicago Park District’s rule that allows daily swimming between the hours of 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Since the jump happens during off hours, there are no lifeguards on duty which the Park District rules as being a non-sanctioned area.
“What I saw I think everyone here was very responsible and no one pushed anybody. If you saw anyone without a floaty, they would help you,” member Jaione Atin said.
The Park District issued the following statement on Friday:
Chicago’s lakefront is among our city’s most popular destinations and supports various forms of recreation enjoyed by residents and tourists. In order to protect the safety of everyone who visits our 26 miles of city lakefront, the Chicago Park District implemented an aggressive recruitment campaign to ensure all designated swimming areas are properly staffed with trained, certified lifeguards throughout the beach season. Swimming is allowed at designated areas, daily from 11am to 7pm, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, when lifeguards are present. Other non-sanctioned swim locations are prominently marked with stenciled signage, and visitors are strictly prohibited from entering the water in these areas. Patrons are encouraged to enjoy our lakefront safely, where swimming is permitted, by checking the Park District website for swim conditions at each location before heading out to the beach, monitoring the flag notification system for any changes during their visit and following instructions from lifeguards.”