Saturday, as the Chicago Air and Water Show was coming to a close, a boater in the playpen discovered the body of a man in Lake Michigan.
The Cook County Coroner’s Office said 29-year-old Spencer Williams was pronounced dead at 8:14 p.m. at the scene.
The horrific find was the third serious problem in the playpen in the past week.
According to police, the boater was in a dinghy near Oak Street Beach around 4:30 p.m. when he discovered the body of Williams, who appeared to be wearing a red shirt.
Missing Man’s Body Found In Lake Michigan
A Coast Guard official said the first to assist were units watching the playpen. The body parts were found by Chicago Maritime Police, the officer said.
By 4 p.m., as the Chicago Air and Water Show was winding down, more than 30 boats and yachts were floating in the playpen. After a series of rain showers, the sun made an appearance around 4:30 p.m.
People sat on the big boats and listened to the music coming from some of the boats. Others rode bikes, walked, or ran along the lake.
Saturday afternoon’s rescue was the third emergency at the raceway in the past week.
On Wednesday, a person had fallen from a boat and is in critical condition. Search crews are looking for a second person. The incident occurred around 7:30 p.m. near the Jardine Water Filtration Plant.
Two women were seriously injured in a boating accident last Saturday. One of the women, Lana Batochir, was on an inflatable raft when a 37-foot yacht turned and pulled her underwater. Both of Batochir’s legs had to be cut off because the propeller had severed both of her feet.
Lindsay Hetzel and her husband were attending a party Saturday night at the Chicago Yacht Club, 400 E. Monroe St., as guests. The next day, she read about the recent injuries in the playpen in the newspaper.
“I was very upset. I’m very sad for the family. Hetzel said of Batochir, “I can’t imagine something like this happening.
Hetzel said she is thinking about boat safety after the recent accidents and injuries. She added, “Everyone should.”
Nicholas Westlund, who was also at the party, said he doesn’t usually stop at the playpen. Instead, he just sails through when he’s on the lake.
Westlund said many people are on charter boats in the playpen and rely on the captain to know what’s going on.
“It doesn’t seem right to have just one person to blame,” he said.
Police said their marine unit received a call shortly before 7 p.m. Wednesday that someone had fallen off a boat in the “playpen” near the Jardine Water Filtration Plant.
Officers immediately began searching for the missing person when they arrived.
Police also said that the Coast Guard brought ashore a person who had been on a boat and was unconscious. That person was taken to Northwestern Hospital in very poor condition.
The Marine unit then searched Lake Michigan for the missing person but later called off the search.
According to Chicago police, the individuals were in the same boat. The missing person was wearing a red shirt and blue jean shorts, according to the Coast Guard.
The next day, the body of a 38-year-old man was found in Montrose Harbor. However, authorities later discovered that it was not the person who had disappeared the previous day.
The “playpen” accident comes at a time when there is growing concerned about safety in that part of the lake.
Authorities advise boaters, swimmers, and beachgoers to be cautious in the water by always carrying a buoyancy aid, never swimming alone, keeping an eye on the weather, and keeping an eye on all members of their party.