Search for Lake Michigan missing boaters turns to recovery mission


Search and recovery operations will resume Sunday morning for two boaters who went missing on Lake Michigan in northwest Indiana on Friday, local officials say.

Search efforts for the missing swimmers began Friday, though officials on Saturday turned efforts toward a recovery mission, which will continue Sunday with the help of sonar equipment, according to FOX 32 in Chicago.

The search was called off late Friday as nightfall descended on rescue efforts. Weather conditions in the area are hampering search efforts due to strong winds and high waves, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources tells Fox News Digital. 

The two men had been on a boat with ten other people, including adults and juveniles, about two and a half miles off Whiting on Lake Michigan at around 2:30 p.m. when one of the men jumped off the boat to swim but began to struggle, the station reported.

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Two Coast Guard vessels and a boat

Search operations resumed Saturday morning for two men who went missing while out in Lake Michigan in northwest Indiana on Friday, local officials say. Pictured are two Coast Guard vessels and another boat. (Fox 32)

The group tried to move the boat closer to him but couldn’t reach him due to the strong winds and waves, and then a second man jumped into the water to try and help the first swimmer.

However, the second man also got into difficulty, prompting a third man in a life jacket to then go into the water but then got separated from the other two men.

The man wearing the life jacket was then rescued by the Coast Guard at around 4:30 p.m. and taken to a hospital for mild hypothermia but has since been released. 

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Whiting, Lake Michigan

Whiting in Lake Michigan is marked. The two men were on a boat with ten other people about two and a half miles off Whiting when the incident took place. (Google Maps)

Marty Benson, of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, tells Fox News Digital that the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, the Hammond Fire Department, the Hammond Police Department, and the Hammond Port Authority are helping with search efforts. 

One of the missing men is from Elk Grove Village, and the other is from Mount Prospect. 

Also on Friday, a man and a teenage girl were rescued from Lake Michigan at Muskegon’s Pere Marquette Park, which is about 45 miles northwest of Grand Rapids, WWMT reports.

The teenager was found first and was initially unresponsive but was responsive as of 6 p.m. Friday. Crews were not able to locate the man for a while, but he was pulled to shore and CPR was performed. He is in serious condition, according to local reports. 

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The US Coast Guard

File photo. The U.S. Coast Guard arrives to help an ailing boat at the mouth of the Merrimack, New Hampshire.  (Erin Clark/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

On Thursday, the Coast Guard rescued two children and two adults from the water off Galveston, Texas, after their vessel capsized.  

When the Coast Guard arrived on the scene, they found the four clinging to the capsized vessel. The two children were wearing life jackets, but the two adults were not.

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They were safely taken to shore, and no injuries were reported, the Coast Guard said.



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