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Off-duty Chicago firefighter drowns in Lake Michigan

An off-duty Chicago firefighter died while swimming in Lake Michigan early Sunday.

Wilbur Hayes, 43, was swimming off 31st Street Beach with his family after his work shift when he went under the water and did not resurface, the Chicago Fire Department and the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.

Divers searched for him and quickly found him underwater, fire officials said.

He was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

“While this incident did occur off duty after his shift, we are conducting a full investigation to determine the status of this tragic loss,” Fire Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt said in a statement.

Hayes has been with the department since 2009.

No other details were immediately available.

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