Chicago Man Goes for a Walk, Finds Himself in the Middle of Frozen Lake Michigan

by Megan Molseed

Rescuers in Chicago faced a very unusual and daringly dangerous rescue today as they ventured out onto an iced-over Lake Michigan to rescue a man who found himself stranded at least a thousand feet from the shoreline.

A man was taking a simple stroll in downtown Chicago Friday morning when his walk took a dangerous turn…even before he realized what was happening. After strolling along a large patch of ice, the man soon found himself about .29 miles into the middle of a frozen Lake Michigan.

A Terrifying Strole On Lake Michigan

According to reports given on the incident by Fox 32, it was around 7 a.m. this morning, Friday, February 4 when rescuers received a 9-1-1 call regarding a man walking far out on the frozen water. The man, a 24-year-old international student was far from the shoreline in the Promontory Point area; just across the street from Chicago’s museum campus near Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. The water is about 20 feet deep at this point.

“He was out just for a walk back home,” says Chicago Fire Department Marine Unit Chief Jason Lach of the wandering student. The Chicago Fire chief adds that the man had no idea what he was walking on at first.

“He had no idea he was on the ice at first,” the first-responder adds. Lach also notes that the ice was broken along the route the student was traveling

“He was more than 1,000 feet offshore on broken ice,” Lach explains.  

Watching the Harrowing Rescue

The event was featured live on television this morning, with many Chicago residents watching the heart-stopping event. And, the Chicago Fire Media Twitter Page added updates once the student was safely brought to shore.

“The person on the ice near 5500 S LSD (Lake Shore Drive) apparently didn’t realize he was walking on ice,” notes the Chicago Fire Media Twitter page early this morning.

The first responders went on to note that thankfully, this rescue ended on a positive note. However, the result could have easily been very different.

“This rescue went smoothly but the outcome could have easily been a tragedy,” the Chicago Fire tweet adds, noting that the best thing to do is avoid dangers such as these altogether.

Avoid the ice at all costs,” the tweet notes “No ice is safe ice!”

“I was strolling on ice because I found it was solid,” the man explains.

“And I found it relaxing,” the student adds of the terrifying moment.

“I heard police sirens, so I came back,” he adds.

Thankfully, the student was safely rescued from his precarious position. Once rescued, he told rescuers that he wasn’t aware that he had ventured onto the water. At least, he was unaware of what had happened until he couldn’t return to the shoreline. Cheif Lach notes that after rescuers were able to reach the 24-year-old student, the rescue crews were hitting sections of melted ice; highlighting the danger of the situation.