WAUKEGAN (Sun-Times Media Wire) - Waukegan emergency crews saved a 16-year-old boy from Lake Michigan but couldn’t locate a second amid a heightening snowstorm Friday night in the north suburb.
Just after 4:30 p.m., the fire department arrived near Stiner Pavilion and Waukegan Municipal Beach in response to a 16-year-old boy who slipped off the main pier, according to a statement from Waukegan Fire Marshal Steven Lenzi.
A witness saw another boy, also 16, jumping into the waters to save the first, with both “struggling” against harsh currents, Lenzi said.
The first boy who fell in ended up making it out of the water and received medical treatment on the scene, Lenzi said. Emergency crews then brought that person to Vista East Medical Center in Waukegan.
But after about 90 more minutes of searching, divers could not find the other 16-year-old, Lenzi said. Rescuers battled “very limited visibility and treacherous wave conditions” until switching to a boat operation with sonar scanners.
He remained missing on Saturday, Lenzi said.
In the morning, emergency crews returned to Lake Michigan’s shores to assess wave conditions but determined it was still too dangerous to dive into the waters again, Lenzi said. Fire department responders were scouring safe areas of the beach and harbor as they waited for the weather to clear up.
Emergency responders dealt with below freezing temperatures and a slight snowfall at the time of the rescue, according to the National Weather Service, which issued a winter storm warning in effect for the region until noon Saturday.