Body of Mackinac Race sailor recovered

Published on July 28th, 2018

Chicago, IL (July 28, 2018) – Authorities recovered the body of Jon Santarelli, 53, this afternoon a week after he went overboard in Lake Michigan during the Chicago Mackinac Race.

The remains of Santarelli, were spotted about noon nearly six miles offshore from the Belmont Harbor, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. He lived in Lincoln Park.

Shortly after the race start on July 21, Santarelli fell overboard about 2:45 p.m when a large wave hit the Transpac 52 Imedi he was crewing on. The crew reported that his flotation device – which is supposed to inflate automatically upon contact with water – did not inflate. They saw him sink under the waves and did not see him resurface.

The 52-foot boat was about five nautical miles from the starting line of the race near the Chicago Harbor break wall when a “man overboard” alert went out, race organizers said. Despite immediate and extensive search efforts, he remained missing until his recovery today.

“Now that Jon has been recovered, a full investigation can take place including an analysis of the PFD (personal flotation device) he was wearing at the time of the incident,” said Chicago Yacht Club Rear Commodore Nick Berberian. “We will continue to update competitors and the boating public as we know more details.”

A GoFundMe page has been established to support the purchase of a memorial bench for Jon in Lincoln Park and to help the Santarelli family:

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