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Chi-Mac: Body found in Lake Michigan identified as missing Chicago sailor from last weekend's race

Sunday, July 29, 2018


CHICAGO, IL (#1079) – According to the Chicago Sun Times and other Chicago-area media reports, the remains of Jon Santarelli, the sailor who was washed overboard a few hours after the start last Saturday of the 110th Chicago-Mackinac race, were recovered Saturday afternoon about six miles offshore from Chicago's Belmont Harbor. 


“Our hearts and prayers go out to the Santarelli family, his friends, and the entire sailing community,” Chicago Yacht Club said in a statement last evening. CYC Rear Commodore Nick Berberian said that the club would investigate Santarelli’s death, including his personal flotation device.


According to the US Coast Guard, crew members of the yacht IMEDI, a TP52 with 13 crew on which Mr Santarelli was racing, said that he went overboard in windy, rough conditions (20-30 kts, 6-8 ft seas) in full foul weather gear and that he went under the water after his personal flotation device did not inflate. 


Read the Chicago Sun Times story here, and the CYC statement here.


All of us connected with Sailing Illustrated send our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Mr Santarelli, to his shipmates on IMEDI, and to the other yachts and their crews who stopped racing to help search for Mr Santarelli – most of whom were too distraught to continue racing after the search was called off last Saturday night.


Jon Santarelli, of Lincoln Park, IL, at Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel after the 2014 Chi-Mac. Photos above courtesy of the Chicago Yacht Club Facebook page.


The TP52 IMEDI on which Mr Santarelli had been racing. Photo courtesy of IMEDI Racing. 

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