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Woman's body recovered from Lake Michigan during search near Foster Avenue Beach

Safety concerns after body is found in Lake Michigan
Safety concerns after body is found in Lake Michigan 02:23

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Cook County Medical Examiner's office on Thursday to identified a woman whose body was pulled from Lake Michigan near Foster Beach.

The woman was identified as Amy Kelts, 20, of Edgewater. The discovery happened in the same area where dive crews were searching for the missing swimmer.

As CBS 2's Sara Machi reported, police divers pulled the body out of the water around 9:40 a.m. Police said Kelts was found dead in an area of 8 to 10 feet of water near a pier located between Foster and Montrose beaches.

Police said there is a corrugated steel wall below the surface of the water, and that is where they made the discovery.

Police have said the young woman was last seen struggling in the water around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday before she was fully submerged.

The Chicago Fire Department sent six divers into the water Wednesday night.

Our cameras captured a heavy response from first responders for over an hour after the woman disappeared.

The search ultimately ended Wednesday night due to darkness, and picked up again Thursday morning.

All this happened after Chicago beach lifeguard hours were off duty after 7 p.m.

Crowds also filled Foster Beach early Thursday - with some people entering the water before the lifeguards first come on duty at 11 a.m.

People swimming when no lifeguards are around is a concern for people who work on water safety.

"If you are swimming when there's not lifeguards on duty, you're on your own, or you're at the mercy of a Good Samaritan helping you out," said Dave Benjamin, co-founder and executive director of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, "and that Good Samaritan could be risking their lives as well."

Body found in Lake Michigan near Foster Beach 01:54

Benjamin said there have been 10 drownings on Lake Michigan in 2023 - half of them this month alone.

"It sounds like some people saw this person out struggling in the water before they submerged," Benjamin said. "If there are lifeguards on duty, they're trained to get to this person in less than a minute - with flotation to subvert the drowning process."

Foster Beach does have a life ring installed near the facilities.

The Chicago Park District installed more than 100 life rings before Memorial Day last year, as the result of a previous drowning.

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