Wilmette, News

Wilmette Fire Department saves kite surfer who fell from board near Gillson Beach

A male kite surfer was in good condition after Wilmette Fire personnel pulled him from the waters of Lake Michigan Monday, Oct. 12, according to Wilmette Fire Chief Ben Wozney.

The incident was called into the fire department at 11:37 a.m., and the WFD subsequently responded with divers and water rescue personnel, Wozney told The Record. When officials arrived on the scene they reportedly saw a man in the water about a fourth of a mile off the shore. 

Wozney said fire crews then launched a rescue boat from a six-wheel ATV, which can deploy the boat from the sand. A three-person crew found the surfer and brought him back to the shore, per Wozney. 

The man, who the department believes is in his early 30s and fell from his board, was in good condition and did not require any medical attention or transportation to the hospital, Wozney said. 

No injuries to first responders were reported, according to Wozney. 

It was a blustery day in the area, and a gale warning issued Monday by the National Weather Service covered the Wilmette Harbor area and was active until 7 p.m. It reported wind gusts up to 40 mph and waves up to 8 feet high.

It is currently unclear if weather played role in the incident.

A spokesperson for the Coast Guard station at the Wilmette Harbor confirmed the incident, adding it did receive a call but by the time Coast Guard officials entered the harbor the incident had been resolved by the Wilmette Fire Department.   

Staff

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