Chicago lived up to its “Windy City” reputation Thursday as dangerous wind gusts blew into town, wreaking havoc


NOAA meterological data shows severe winds throughout much of the day Thursday.

Chicago Sun-Times article:

45 mph winds blister city, O’Hare

BLOWN AWAY | Boats overturned, flights canceled, trees and scaffolding rocked as strong gusts whip through area

Chicago lived up to its “Windy City” reputation Thursday as dangerous wind gusts blew into town, wreaking havoc that even led to two people being pulled from the water near Belmont Harbor after their boat capsized.

About 7 p.m., a male and a female were pulled to safety by staff members of Chicago Yacht Club after their 15-foot sailboat was tipped over by high winds in Belmont Harbor, police said.

“This isn’t a time that they should have been sailing,” said Joe Quick, a sailing instructor who helped rescue the pair.

The Chicago Sun-Times article also describes the tragic drowning of a young man in Waukegan who attempted to rescue another swimmer.

Reports posted on Sailing Anarchy describe a more troubling marine rescue scenario:

I saw 4 individuals (who’s names will be withheld from this tid bit) at Belmont last night deciding to go out on Vanguard 15’s. I had just finished up some prep on the Farr40 with the owner and noticed a couple of Vanguards being trotted from the dry dock to the lawn. They were going sailing. I said, ” Don’t do it, you are smarter than that. Don’t do it, something will happen.” I saw one of these individuals up in the club house and told them that racing would definitely be canceled, this person told me that racing was already canceled. They decided to venture out anyway.

They were doing a nice little planning ballet in the harbor and then they headed out into the lake. One of the crews was drinking beer from a glass bottle, not cool. I left at that point, needing to be home in time for game one tip off. I was in line for cigs when I got the call. “Dude get your ass down here, there are 3 fire trucks two ambulances a police boat and now, oh shit there are more vehicles coming.” “One of them flipped over, turtled and they are having a tough time getting it back up, M-2 blasted out of the harbor with a 7 foot wake and I have pictures.” I said,” Serves them right, it was death on a stick out there and now they are going to get ticketed.” Spectator said,” I know dude two of them came back in and now they are trying to hide-out.”

In all there we 10 -12 emergency vehicles and divers down there, one cop was quoted as saying, “I can’t believe someone would be so stupid as to take out a 14 foot boat in those kind of winds.”

8 June 2007 | Chicago Yacht Club, Weather | Comments

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