Dozens gather to remember Chicago man who drowned in Lake Michigan

Miguel Cisneros drowned after going for a swim in Lake Michigan.

The 19-year-old's mother mother, Maria Diaz, thinks he could have been saved if there were life rings on the pier in Rogers Park.

Diaz described her son as a superstar student and athlete with a kind heart. Now, she hopes his death will spark change.

On Tuesday, dozens gathered for a candlelight vigil to honor the young man's life.

Cisneros drowned after diving off Pratt Pier in Rogers Park on August 22.


Cisneros was a 2020 graduate of St. Ignatius and an incoming sophomore at Columbia University. His loved ones say he had a bright future ahead.

Now, they are calling on Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Park District to install life rings and safety equipment at all Chicago beaches and piers in hopes of preventing another tragedy.

"Miguel jumped in the water. It shouldn't be something that cost you your life. But there were no life rings," said Dave Benjamin, Executive Director of Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project.

"For many years, residents along Rogers Park lakefront have been advocating for more water safety measures," said 49th Ward Alderwoman Maria Hadden.

"Faded and misleading signage is not enough to help someone when they're drowning, and not even freshly painted ones like the ones the park district came and re-did," said Diaz. "We need life rings on our beaches and piers. Life rings save lives. Not signs."

Diaz says she will keep pushing for change until it's made so that no other mother must go through the pain she has endured the past two weeks.