Glenwood, Ill., boy drowned in Lake Michigan off the Marquette Park beach in
Gary on Thursday, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources is reporting.
The victim has not
According to DNR,
at 5:15 p.m. emergency personnel, including both the Porter and Chesterton
fire department dive teams, responded to Marquette Park when witnesses
reported seeing a family of at least five struggling in the water,
apparently after stepping off a sandbar into “unexpectedly” deeper water.
“While the family struggled in the water, one of the family members noticed
that the child was not on the surface of the water,” DNR said. “Lifeguards
were on duty and immediately initiated a search for the boy.”
A little over an
hour later, at 6:20 p.m., a Portage firefighter aboard a jet ski spotted the
boy below the surface. A Porter firefighter accompanying the jet ski by boat
recovered the boy and brought him to shore, where he was determined to be
deceased, DNR said.
Conservation Officers are conducting the ongoing investigation with the Gary
Police Department and Lake County Coroner’s Office,” DNR said.
Also responding to
the scene were the Gary PD and FD, the Lake County Sheriff’s Police aviation
unit, U.S. Coast Guard units, Indiana Dunes National Park rangers, and the
Hobart, Crown Point, Merrillville, and Lakes of Four Seasons FDs.
CFD divers did make
entry into the water and commenced a search pattern using a tow bar pulled
by a Portage FD boat, but were in the water only a short time before the boy
PFD Chief Jay Craig
told the Chesterton Tribune that the boy and his family were only in
waist-deep water at the time of the incident, “well within the swim buoys
and only around 40 feet from shore.” He added that the sandbars and dropoffs
change every season and are especially treacherous for swimmers unfamiliar
with Lake Michigan.