Man Rescued After Wandering 1,000 Feet From Shore on Frozen Lake Michigan in Chicago

A local college student was rescued in Chicago on Friday after he was spotted walking on a frozen Lake Michigan and wandered 1,000 miles from shore.

A man who was taking a stroll in Chicago on Friday morning ended up walking onto a frozen Lake Michigan.

Fox 32 reports that first responders rescued the man, a 24-year-old international college student at around 7 a.m. in the Hyde Park neighborhood. He had been seen on the lake at about 1,000 feet from the shore, near the Lake Shore Drive expressway. It was about 12 degrees outside.

“I was strolling on ice because I found it was solid, and I found it relaxing,” the student told the news outlet. “I heard police sirens, so I came back.”

The person on the ice near 5500 S LSD apparently didn't realize he was walking on ice. This rescue went smoothly but the outcome could have easily been a tragedy. Avoid the ice at all costs. No ice is safe ice! 0

— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) February 4, 2022

But the Chicago Fire Department’s Jason Lach said the man didn’t know he was on water until he couldn’t make his way back to shore. That’s when someone in a high-rise building spotted the student and reported the incident.

“He was out just for a walk back home … he had no idea he was on the ice at first,” Lach said. “He was more than 1,000 feet offshore on broken ice.”

Fire and police officials rescued the man, who was transported back to land on an inflatable canoe just after 8 a.m. “Our lake front spans 25 miles,” Lach told WGN 9. “[The ice is] not always inches thick.”

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In fact, at one point, a first responder fell through the ice and the rescue crew came upon spots with open water. The rescued man had been on the lake for about 40 minutes. He was later issued an Administrative Notice of Violation for Disorderly Conduct.

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