Lincoln Park woman dead, two missing after boat capsizes - FOX 32 News Chicago

Lincoln Park woman dead, two missing after boat capsizes

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - A Lincoln Park woman died, one person was rescued and two others are still missing after a boat capsized Saturday night in Lake Michigan.

A man and woman were pulled from the lake Sunday morning, but after searching 1,800 square miles of water, rescue crews ended their search Sunday night, authorities said.

Authorities were not even aware the 33-foot cabin cruiser had capsized until Sunday morning, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

A fisherman saw what he thought was a kayak near the 31st Street Harbor about 6:15 a.m. Sunday. It was a man in a life vest more than 6 miles offshore, Chicago Fire Chief Joe Roccasalva said.

The fisherman, Joel Reiser of Brush and Roll Charters, said he threw the man a life preserver and pulled him onto the boat. He called the U.S. Coast Guard, and rescue crews took the man to the hospital.

The 29-year-old was taken to Mercy Hospital & Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition, officials said.

Ashley Haws, 26, was also taken to Mercy Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 10:04 a.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

Haws, of the 2300 block of North Geneva Terrace, died of hypothermia because of immersion in cold water from the boat accident, an autopsy found. Near-drowning was listed as a secondary cause, and her death was ruled an accident, the medical examiner’s office said.

Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said the man pulled from the waters told authorities six people had been on the boat at one point, but two were dropped off. Police said four people were on the boat when things went awry — two men and two women.

They traveled from Burnham Harbor to New Buffalo, Mich., and were returning to Chicago Saturday when the engine began to smoke and caught fire, according to police.

U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Brian Dykens said an alarm panel on the boat “started going off” and the engine shut down.

Power was lost, and the radio and bilge pump both failed, police said. All four put on life jackets but got separated in the darkness as the ship capsized.

The man later told authorities the boat capsized about 7 p.m. Saturday — meaning he had been in the water about 12 hours, according to the Fire Department.

After searching until nightfall Sunday, Coast Guard crews suspended their search. But Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Janel Sedevic said a marine unit boat continued to scour the lake between 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Monday.

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