Skip to main content

Sailor missing after falling overboard in race on Lake Michigan

As of this morning a sailor who was competing in Saturday’s Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Island and fell overboard is still missing. The U.S. Coast Guard called off its search Saturday evening about five hours after Jon Santarelli, 53, of Lincoln Park, Ill., fell off Imedi, a boat on which he was a crewmember.

Local marine units were expected to resume their search efforts on Sunday.

At approximately 2:30 p.m. Saturday, it was reported that Santarelli, fell off the stern of Imedi. He was wearing an inflatable personal flotation device that did not inflate, according to an article on the Chicago Tribune’s website.

“Santarelli had more than a decade of offshore racing experience and was a core member of the Imedi Racing team as well as the greater Chicago sailing community,” race organizers said in a statement late Saturday. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and teammates.”

The incident took place about five miles out from the start of the race. Conditions were described as tough with winds gusting north at about 15 mph and waves cresting at approximately 6’.

This isn’t the first time that weather has made the race even more challenging. In 2011, Actuant Corp. CEO Bob Arzbaecher was the captain of the boat Sociable in the race when a squall hit the competitors during the race. According to an article in Sail magazine, after the squall passed, Arzbaecher and crew heard a whistle and saw a faint light in the water. They made their way toward the light and found five people clinging to a capsized boat from the race, WingNuts. They rescued the five people and started to search for two other members of the WingNuts crew. They bodies of the two missing crew members were found the next morning.



Marine Travelift Launches Co-op Program

The company received its first student, a University of Wisconsin engineering major, in the seven-month paid co-op.


Trade Only Today Returns Tuesday

The e-newsletter will not publish July 4 in observance of Independence Day. We wish everyone a safe holiday weekend.


ORR Announces Federally Funded Projects

The U.S. Economic Development Administration prioritized outdoor recreation for the first time


Ten Ways To Sell in a Tough Economy

These keys to successful selling can help you create customers who keep coming back, even when sales dip


ASA Names New Board Members

The American Sportfishing Association filled two at-large seats and two regional seats on its board of directors.


Dammrich, Hopkinson Partner With Marine Resources Recruitment

The industry veterans will help clients fill executive-suite, marine industry job openings around the world.


DEALERS: How Was Business in the First Half of 2022?

With the second quarter coming to a close, was there parity between the budget and financial performance in the first six months? Take the Pulse Report survey here.


Passagemaker Relaunches Podcast

Trawler Talk aims to connect with those who are interested in the cruising lifestyle, with episodes dropping every other week