Coast Guard suspends search for sailor who fell off yacht near Navy Pier

CHICAGO — The U.S. Coast Guard suspended the search for a missing sailor Saturday evening on Lake Michigan, some seven hours after he fell off a yacht that had just started the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac.

The sailor was identified as Jon Santarelli, 53, of Chicago. He fell off Imedi, a Transpac 52.

Approximately 20 boats and three helicopters from Coast Guard, Chicago Fire, Chicago Police and Chicago Yacht Club covered searched 47 square miles. All competitors in the vicinity immediately suspended racing to assist in the search.

Santarelli went missing approximately five miles east of Navy Pier, 40 minutes after Imedi began the 110th edition of the offshore classic.

Santorelli had more than a decade of offshore racing experience and was a core member of the Imedi Racing team.