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