No sign of sailor who fell off boat during Race to Mackinac

CHICAGO (Fox 32 News) - There was no sign on Sunday of a sailor who went missing during the Race to Mackinac on Lake Michigan.

Jon Santarelli, 53, of Chicago, fell off a sailboat on Saturday afternoon about five nautical miles from the Chicago shoreline and about 40 minutes into the race.

Santarelli was one of 13 crew members on the "Imedi," which was facing 15 mile-per-hour winds and six-foot waves. The crew says that Santarelli went to the back of the boat to adjust the sail.

"Unfortunately, at that precise time, a large wave hit the boat, causing him to slip into the water," said Chicago Yacht Club Rear Commodore Nick Berberian. 

His crewmates said that Santarelli wore a life vest designed to automatically inflate when wet. It did not appear to work, and they threw him a floatation device. He slipped underwater.

Crews from the Coast Guard and Chicago Police Marine Unit as well as some sailboat competitors searched the water for hours with no luck. 

The Race to Mackinac is approximately 330 miles long, stretching from Chicago to Mackinac Island in Michigan.

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