CHICAGO (AP) -
Without spotting so much as a scrap from a missing 30-foot boat in the
chilly waters of Lake Michigan that turn deadly after about six hours,
authorities have stopped searching for two people who apparently jumped into
the water over the weekend.
"The Coast Guard
searches for people we believe are alive and with the temperatures out
there, the equipment they had... we don’t believe they survived,” Coast
Guard spokesman Levi Read said Monday.
Two people were
pulled from the water: first a man who was spotted by a fisherman around
6:15 a.m. Sunday; the second, a woman believed to be in her 20s, a couple of
hours later. The woman, who was unconscious and in cardiac arrest when she
was pulled from the water, was soon pronounced dead. The man remained
hospitalized on Monday.
The discovery of
the man triggered a massive search covering approximately 1,600 square miles
that involved boats, at least one plane and a helicopter, said Read. The
search was suspended Sunday night.
The rescued man was
confused due to severe hypothermia and gave a number of accounts of what
happened, how many people were on board and where they were headed. As a
result, rescuers initially thought they were looking for five or six people,
But as the man
warmed up and became more coherent, he told authorities that four people
were on the boat when it caught fire Saturday night, forcing them to jump in
the water. He had said the boat was sailing from Chicago to New Buffalo,
Michigan, but then the man’s account changed and he said it was heading from
New Buffalo to Chicago, Read said.
though, is why the people on board did not place a distress call on the
radio that was presumably on the boat or attempt to signal other boaters
that they were in trouble.
“The Coast Guard
heard nothing on the radio, no flares were seen during the night,” said
Larry Langford, spokesman for the Chicago Fire Department, which
participated in the search.
seeing a fire on the lake and neither the boat nor any debris has been
found, Read said.
"Usually, if the
boat is intact it will remain afloat and if it doesn’t we find some kind of
debris,” he said.
Both people pulled
from the water were wearing life jackets and Read said that even if the two
others - a 30-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman - were wearing life
jackets, the expected survival time in water that is approximately 60
degrees is only six hours. The search was called off more than 15 hours
after the first man was pulled from the water.
The fire department
and the Coast Guard have halted their search and the Chicago Police
Department said it may resume what is called a “recovery” search Monday.