Coast Guard rescues 4 during annual boat race

Evrard Martin
Juillet 17, 2017

Five people had to be rescued early Sunday after two sailboats capsized separately off the coast of Wisconsin during the Chicago Yacht Club's 109th annual Race to Mackinac.

The National Weather Service issued a beach advisory forecasting waves between 5′ and 8′ and strong currents Sunday into Monday morning. People are urged to stay off rocks, jetties and piers. Swimming closures can be found at the Chicago Park District and Illinois Department of Public Health websites. Strong rip currents, which happen most often in low spots or breaks in sandbars, and strong structural currents that form along piers can sweep people into deeper water, and both were expected Sunday. Gusts of 25 miles per hour can cause strong rip currents and 8-foot waves.

The conditions on the lake already have affected the Mackinac race.

Race organizers say 29 boats have exited as of Sunday afternoon.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, one person was rescued by a good Samaritan after falling overboard during the race shortly after midnight about 40 miles east of Port Washington, Wisconsin. That division left Chicago on Friday and the Racing Division fleet left Saturday. Winners are determined based on a handicapping system.

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