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Rescue search suspended after man falls off boat in Chicago "Playpen"

Boater goes missing in Chicago "Playpen"
Boater goes missing in Chicago "Playpen" 02:00

CHICAGO (CBS) -- First responders suspended their rescue search for a missing boater in the Playpen near Navy Pier in Chicago, instead saying any further searches will be a recovery effort. 

People took advantage of the beautiful weather at the Playpen on Saturday, but first responders were called there for more than one emergency, one of which seemed to be ending in tragedy. 

Chicago Police say around 4:20 p.m., a man in his late 50s fell off a boat and into the water. He never returned to the surface. There were few other details. 

Firefighters were also called to the Playpen for a boat fire, and first responders sent a tow boat to a watercraft stranded at Northerly Island near Adler Planetarium. 

Police said they couldn't provide more information about the missing man, but firefighters said they searched the water for an hour without any luck. After transitioning their operations into recovery mode, they ended the day without any sight of the missing boater. 

Police continued to search for the missing man on Sunday.   

What is the Playpen?

The Playpen is located between Oak Street Beach and Navy Pier and is popular with boaters in the summertime. A brick wall helps keep the waters calm while providing a backdrop of Chicago's skyline. 

Past incidents at the Playpen

Within the past couple of years, there have been a number of incidents at the Playpen.

On August 15, 2022, a woman had to have both of her legs amputated after a boat propeller at the pen severed her feet. A second woman was also injured in that accident.

A few days later, another person went missing after falling into the playpen. One person was pulled from the water, but the search for a second person was suspended.

Last September, a swimmer who entered the water and didn't resurface was rescued and taken to a hospital.

CBS 2 reached out to a man on social media who may be the boat's owner but has yet to hear back. 

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