Chesterton Tribune



Illinois kayaker drowns at Porter Beach

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The body of a kayaker was recovered this morning off the waters of Porter Beach, after he went missing late Sunday afternoon.

The victim was identified as Alex Lopez, 21, of Plainfield, Ill., by Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris.

Porter Deputy Fire Chief Jay Craig gave this account of the incident. Shortly after 6 p.m. the PFD’s Dive/Rescue Team was dispatched to Porter Beach after two men reported that they and Lopez had gone kayaking with borrowed equipment. At approximately 5 p.m., near Porter Beach’s border with Dune Acres, Lopez--who was not wearing a lifejacket--was “knocked over and went under,” Craig said, “and that was the last they saw of him.”

Lopez’s friends, on the other hand, were wearing lifejackets and were able to summon help.

The PFD, along with divers from the Chesterton and Portage FDs and the Indiana State Police, assisted by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter, promptly commenced search operations. The search was subsequently suspended at 10:30 p.m., Craig said, although PFD personnel remained at the scene all night.

The search resumed at 6 a.m. today and around 7 a.m. a spotter in the USCG helicopter, using Lopez’s last known GPS coordinates, observed what appeared to be a body approximately 200 yards offshore, west of Porter Beach near Dune Acres, Craig said. An ISP diver, operating from a PFD boat, subsequently recovered Lopez’s body.

The results of a routine toxicology screen are pending, Coroner Harris said.


Posted 9/25/2017




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