Chesterton Tribune



Search for missing Long Lake canoeist continues

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The search continued on Tuesday for the body of a Valparaiso canoeist who went missing on Long Lake late last month, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources is reporting.

Keegan Whaling, 20, and a friend were canoeing on Long Lake at approximately 7 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, when their boat capsized 150 yards off shore. Whaling’s companion succeeded in reaching land but Whaling was last seen in the water.

Search efforts began at 8 a.m. Tuesday, the DNR said, and included the use of a certified cadaver dog and side-scan sonar, with Indiana Conservation Officers diving the lake in several “areas of interest” identified by sonar. An additional 15 divers from local fire departments--including the Chesterton and Porter FDs--also conducted a search of a large area on the north side of the lake.

“Although Indiana Conservation Officers are confident in today’s search efforts, it should be noted efforts continue to be hindered by extensive plant material in the lake, which cannot be thoroughly searched with sonar equipment or safely searched by divers,” the DNR said. “Most of the area of interest consists of dense plant material ranging from three feet to 15 feet in length.”

The DNR noted that, on their arrival at Long Lake on Tuesday, searchers found a green blanket--draped over a guard rail at the boat ramp--which “matches the description of a blanket believed to have ended up in the water at the time of the initial incident.”

Conservation Officers subsequently identified the person who located the blanket, who showed searchers where he found it. That area is “consistent with information gathered from the investigation and the blanket has been confirmed as being present at the time of the initial incident,” the DNR said.

Search efforts “will be evaluated on a daily basis and are expected to continue with regular patrols of the area,” the DNR added. “The investigation is ongoing and foul play is not suspected.”


Posted 11/15/2017




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