Chicago Police and Fire Department divers search for three people who fell into the Chicago River

Ken Herzlich photo

The Chicago Tribune has an article about a late night water rescue by CFD divers:

A man died, a woman is missing and presumed dead, and a third person is hospitalized after all three ended up in the Chicago River early Monday morning. A 26-year-old man dropped his phone along the riverwalk and fell in when he lunged after it about 12:05 a.m. The two people with the man, a 21-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man, went in the water after him.

The 26-year-old died at Northwestern Memorial Hospital about 3:14 a.m. The Cook County medical examiner’s office isn’t releasing the man’s name because his family has not yet been notified of the death. The woman is missing and presumed dead. The 23-year-old is in stable condition at Presence Saint Joseph Hospital, according to authorities.

Rescue workers  [Chicago Police and Fire Department divers ] had pulled the two men from the water near 429 E. North Water Street, about 100 yards west of Lake Shore Drive in the Streeterville neighborhood. Police found the 21-year-old woman’s purse near where she went into the water.

Witnesses reported the people in the water just after midnight but authorities turned the rescue effort into a recovery operation about 1:30 a.m. The search was suspended about 3 a.m., Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro said.

The two men pulled from the water were initially taken to area hospitals in serious-to-critical condition, Chicago Fire Department Chief Juan Hernandez, a department spokesman, said.

About two dozen police officers, firefighters and paramedics were at the scene. Two boats helped with the rescue efforts – Chicago Fire Department Engine 2, a large boat, and a smaller one from the Chicago Police Department’s marine unit.

Early in the rescue attempt, a Chicago Police Department marine unit diver slid out across the ice from his boat, attached to a rope, and dropped into the water.

Chicago Fire Department divers also entered the water from above by climbing down a ladder into the river. Firefighters and police above shoveled or kicked snow off the ledge into the water and poked at ice slabs with a long pole.

Three Chicago Fire Department divers also rotated in and out of the water, one at a time, in their search for the woman. Each diver made at least two trips into the water, Hernandez said.

“We continued efforts for over an hour rotating divers, searches for the final victim were unsuccessful,” Chicago Fire Department Chief Linda Parsons said. “Now the scene is turned over to Chicago police for recovery. Our operation is terminated at this point.”

Chicago Police and Fire Department divers search for three people who fell into the Chicago River

Ken Herzlich photo


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