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Family frustrated with lack of answers in search for missing boater


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    CHICAGO (WBBM) — Frustrated family and friends searched along Lake Michigan on Wednesday for a boater who disappeared early Tuesday morning, asking authorities to do more to help find him.

The recovery effort will continue Thursday morning.

Bryan Jackson has not been seen since he was on a boat near 31st Street Harbor when he went into the water near McCormick Place on Tuesday morning.

Family and friends say the information from those on the same boat is inconsistent.

On Wednesday night, cellphone video provided to CBS 2 showed Jackson, along with family and friends, on the boat.

“We all have the same objective of making sure we find Bryan safe and sound,” said Jackson’s girlfriend, Sarah Virani.

Jackson is a father of two kids and a master trainer with the Nike and Jordan brand.

Rescue crews said he jumped off the 27-foot boat about a mile offshore from McCormick Place around 9 a.m. Tuesday and went swimming with a woman.

The woman returned, but Jackson has not been seen since.

Chicago Police boats, Chicago Fire Department divers, and the U.S. Coast Guard spent much of the day Tuesday searching for Jackson. Police resumed the effort on Wednesday.

The Fire Department said the search for Jackson was later switched to a recovery effort, with CPD taking the lead.

Rev. Tanya Lozano Washington co-parents with Jackson. She said he takes his health and conditioning seriously, so she struggles to understand what happened.

“They jumped in together, and I guess the current started to take them, and she said he panicked. Again, I’m trying to explain to you this doesn’t make sense,” she said. “And so, that’s it. That’s all we know. We don’t have any further information, and we can’t seem to get any real confirmation on who’s looking for him.”

Lozano Washington said she and other loved ones want more complete answers.

“I want a thorough investigation. I don’t want – we just assume he drowned, I want it to be looked at,” she said. “What about that boat? Is anyone looking at that boat, looking for evidence on that boat?”

On Thursday, family and friends will return to 31st Street Beach to try to search from the shore.

“Bryan is strong. He is the most mentally and physically strong person I know – and I know he’s out there waiting for us,” said Virani.

The CPD Marine Unit was just offshore Wednesday night.

On Tuesday, hours after the incident, there was a noticeable search for the air and water. But Lozano Washington said more should be done.

“There’s no effort here,” she said. “There’s no communication, and everyone’s very relaxed about someone who’s missing who has two children.”

Those who know Jackson said they still have questions – mainly the notion that he willingly jumped into the water, which is something he never did.

“Bryan don’t get in the water,” said Jackson’s cousin, Steve Taylor Jr. “I’ve been on many and plenty of boats with Bryan. He don’t get in the water.”

“I don’t believe that he jumped off that boat,” added Lozano Washington.

As family and friends wait for answers at 31st Street Beach, we have seen the CPD Marine Unit continue to go back and forth. The CPD said their mission is not over.

The search will continue on Thursday.

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