'He was a legend': Chicago community remembers Luis Davila after drowning death

As Chicago heads into a jam-packed weekend in the city with the Air and Water Show set for Saturday and Sunday, police and fire officials are reminding everyone to take water safety seriously in the wake of several recent drownings and accidents.

"One of our grim responsibilities is to recover bodies after they have drowned. We don’t want that to be you or one of your loved ones," said Lt. Tony Mendez, Chicago Police Department Marine and Helicopter Unit.

The stark warning comes after at least three people drowned in the last 48 hours – one of them is still missing.

Just after midnight Thursday, a man in his 30s was pulled from Montrose Harbor and died at the hospital.

In a separate incident Wednesday evening, emergency crews rescued an unresponsive man from a boat in the city’s "playpen." He was taken to Northwestern in critical condition.


Another boater he was with fell into the water and did not resurface. He is still missing. The search for that man continued Thursday.

"Please be responsible with water. Wear those personal flotation devices. Swim with a partner. Please, if you're going to swim, if you're going to boat, don't drink," said Mendez. "We can have fun without drinking. The most important thing you're going to do is bring yourself and your loved ones safely back home."

Early Wednesday morning, another drowning took place near Lincoln Park after a 43-year-old man who went swimming did not resurface. The police and fire marine units responded and pulled his body from the lake. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition and later died.

Loved ones have identified him as Luis Davila, a Chicago bartender and entrepreneur.

"He was a legend, everybody loved him. He was such a good friend. Anybody he would help, he would always help anybody," said Monica Koszarek.

Close friends are now planning a memorial service for Davila – who also went by Michael Mix – before his body is returned to his hometown in Mexico. A GoFundMe account has been started to help cover the cost of those funeral expenses.

"He lived a great life, he was a happy guy, we're going to miss him a lot," said Bryan Ortega, Davila’s friend and business partner.

In another incident on Saturday, two women were severely injured, one losing both of her lower legs, when they were pulled under a boat in the "playpen".

With a busy weekend planned for the lakefront, officials are reminding everyone to be extremely cautious in and near the water.

"Any person taking people out on the boat is responsible for those people in that area on that boat from the time they leave the dock to the time they get back," said Deputy District Chief Jason Lach, Chicago Fire Department Marine and Dive Operations. "When you’re operating a vessel, make sure you know your navigational hazards, make sure you understand how the boats operates both forward and backward."

A portion of the lake will be restricted for the Air and Water Show, but the "playpen" will remain open this weekend.