Fire department diver dies while searching Chicago River for missing boater

Diane Pathieu Image
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
CFD diver who died while searching for boater identified
A member of the Chicago Fire Department's dive team died while searching for a missing boater Monday.

CHICAGO, Illinois -- A Chicago Fire Department diver who died while searching the Chicago River for a missing boater has been identified.

Juan Bucio, 46, was part of a crew trying to rescue a 28-year-old man who fell off a boat and into the river near Ashland Avenue around 8 p.m. Monday.

While searching for the man, CFD officials said communication was lost and Bucio was gone.

"They were searching for a person or persons in the water. An order was given to switch out divers to bring the second team in, give them a break. At that time they were coming towards the boat. His partner turned around and he was missing. (It was) that quick," Chicago Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago said.

Once divers found Bucio, he was rushed with a police escort to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. A procession then led his body from the hospital to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.

Bucio was a 15-year veteran of the Chicago Fire Department. He spent the last 11 years on the dive team. He is survived by his wife and two young sons.

Condolences were extended to his family and friends on social media:

Two other members of the dive team suffered minor injuries and were treated and released from the hospital.

The boater is still missing. The search for him will resume Tuesday morning.