Body of man found in Lake Michigan park on Saturday afternoon: officials

A boater in the park spotted the body of a man floating in Lake Michigan as the Chicago Air and Water Show wrapped up, Chicago police said.

Spencer Williams, 29, was dead at the scene, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The gruesome discovery marked the third serious emergency in a week affecting revelers at the park.

The boater was on a dinghy off Oak Street Beach around 4:30 p.m. when they spotted the body of Williams, who appeared to be wearing a red shirt, police said.

US Coast Guard units guarding the park came out first, according to an officer assigned to the Coast Guard.

“This was recovered by the Chicago Marine Police,” the officer said of the remains.

Meanwhile, around 4 p.m., more than 30 boats and yachts floated through the park as the Chicago Air and Water Show wrapped up.

Around 4:30 p.m., after a series of showers, the sun began to break through the clouds.

People relaxed on giant floats and music played from some of the boats.

Others cycled, walked or jogged along the lake.

Saturday afternoon’s resumption marked the third emergency in a week at the Playpen.

One person was left in critical condition after falling from a boat on Wednesday and search units were looking for a second person. It happened around 7:30 p.m. near the Jardine Water filtration plant.

Last Saturday, two women were seriously injured in a boating accident.

Lana Batochir, one of the women, was floating on an inflatable raft, when a 37ft yacht suddenly overturned, sucking her in. Batochir suffered amputation of both legs after his feet were severed by the boat’s propeller.

Afternoon briefing


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Lindsay Hetzel and her husband, who were at a party at the Chicago Yacht Club, 400 E. Monroe St., on Saturday night, said they read the Playpen’s recent injuries the next day in the newspaper.

“I was horrified. I feel awful for the family. I can’t even imagine this happening,” Hetzel said of Batochir.

Hetzel said she has the boat’s safety in mind after the recent injuries and sinkings. “Everyone should.”

Another reveler, Nicholas Westlund, said he doesn’t usually stop at the park, only boating when he’s on the lake.

Westlund said many people in the park are on charter boats, relying on a captain to be aware of what’s going on.

“If you only have one responsible person, that doesn’t seem right.”

Check back for more details.

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