A sudden rainstorm capsized several small boats in Lake Michigan off the Evanston shoreline about 5 p.m. Thursday.

Chief Paul Polep says Evanston firefighters using jet skis and the Marine 21 unit rescued eight people who’d been on five different boats from the water off the Dempster Street Beach.

Workers from Northwestern University’s sailing center managed to save several others.

Crews on the scene said they were encountering three to five foot waves on the lake as they carried out the rescue efforts.

Officials say all the people who were in the capsized boats were rescued safely, and that — other than needing to warm up after their ordeal — they suffered no significant injuries.

Ambulance crews from Morton Grove, Skokie and Wilmette were called in to assist with the rescue efforts.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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