Two women were critically injured when a boat backed over them on Lake Michigan, according to authorities in Illinois.
A group of six to eight people were lounging on a flotation raft on Saturday, Aug. 13, in “the Playpen,” an area north of Navy Pier, the Chicago Police Department said in a news conference on Monday, Aug. 15 recorded by CBS Chicago.
Another boat attempted to anchor in the area when it malfunctioned, ABC 7 reported.
The boat reversed into the float, “sucking” people underneath, officers said.
Officers in the area heard emergency calls on the ship-to-shore radio that two boats had collided, they said at the news conference, and immediately rushed to the scene.
Arriving at the scene, officers said they found the first victim hanging halfway into a boat, clinging to another person. The victim’s hand had been “severely severed,” requiring a tourniquet to minimize the “excessive bleeding,” police said.
One witness described the scene to WGNTV, saying “She was hugging and holding her husband. She was in shock, drowning him, crawling on him to keep out of the water.”
The second victim was found on the stern of a boat with both of her feet “severed” and “minimal bleeding,” police said.
Officers said they immediately provided medical assistance before rushing the women to a nearby hospital.
Both women were in “critical condition,” WGNTV reported.
ABC 7 reported that the women were 34 and 28 years old.
At this time, the “critical incident” is still considered an accident, officers said. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is investigating.
“It was very hectic,” one officer said during the news conference.