Me and some friend formed a flotilla so to speak to head
down to Chicago for the America's Cup World Series event. Our trip across Lake Michigan was a pleasant one over the evening and night.
Around 4:50AM I was on watch with my two mates below catching some sleep. We'd sailed most of the night and were motoring at 6knts. I notice about 100 yards of the starboard bow something floating. We are 8 miles out of Chicago so there is the usual plastic trash and garbage out there. The more I look at it the more it doesn't seem right. It was floating fairly high out of the water
like a log might stick out but was flowing and bending with the waves... In the back of my head
I'm arguing with myself if it is or isn't. I decided had it been my loved ones body I'd want the person to investigate. So I put the helm
over and motor
in to take a closer look.
Again as we motor
in closer I keep going back and forth if it is a body or not. Finally I get close enough to make out a back pocket of a pair of jeans. It was one of those moments that seems to last forever as you take in all the details and your emotions are trying to figure out what to do. Hair on my neck standing on its end I idled the engine
to neutral and gave a bellow of all hands on deck
. My friend not being used to much more than day sailing
weren't sure what I was up to.
Finally they poked their heads up and asked what was up. I let them wake up a minute and asked them to take a seat. The whole time I'm circling the body. Finally I tell them and point it out to their astonished faces. I watch them go through the it is/ it isn't argument with themselves.
to our fellow boats and let them know the situation and that we will be a little later than expected getting into port. I the radio
the Coast Guard who puts me to the Chicago PD Marine
Division and read of my position. After a bit they show up and thank us for remaining on scene. They tell me to call into the office once I've gotten into port.
I arrive in port give a call and give them my crews and mine info and that was pretty much that. The Police and Coasties performed professionally and politely.
At 5 in the morning I'm going to say I was more than a little tired on my watch. I at one point was doing the nod and jerk while sitting there. I had gotten up and done some stretches and what not to wake up. This just goes to show the importance of keep an eye out, and being situation-ally aware. I feel it was mostly by luck that I even spotted it. It runs through my mind that it could've just as easily been someone still alive and hypothermic, hardly able to wave their arms. Would I have nodded off as I passed by?
It turns out it was one of 3 bodies pulled from the lake that weekend. Apparently some kids
and jumped in the harbor during a high wind
day when the beach was too wavy. What they didn't think of was the extremely strong current
it creates and were swept out. Not sure if this is what happen to the body I found but at least one of other bodies was identified from that group.
We had fun the rest of the weekend watching the boats race
, hanging out on boats, going out on the town ect. One of the boats set a speed record
of 34.7knts! We had some good wind
one day! Amazing to watch those things go.
Here is a link to the story although I'm not sure what boat was disabled?!?
Body recovered from Lake Michigan 7 miles east of Montrose Beach | abc7chicago.com
Have you ever found a body or rescued someone?