Chesterton Tribune



Apparent drowning at Indiana Dunes State Park beach

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The body of a Michigan man was recovered on Saturday evening off Indiana Dunes State Park beach, following his apparent drowning, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources is reporting.

The 35-year-old man had not been identified by DNR as of deadline today.

According to DNR, at approximately 5:50 p.m. an on-duty lifeguard observed the man to be struggling in the water near the outer edge of the designated swim area. The lifeguard was in the water and approaching the man when the man slipped beneath the water and failed to surface.

Responding to the scene within 15 minutes to assist in a life-search for the man were the Chesterton, Porter, and Portage fire departments, the U.S. Coast Guard, and Indiana Conservation Officers. Divers were towed by two boats--the Porter FDís and the Portage FDís--and around 8 p.m. the third diver in rotation working the Porter FDís boat, Chesterton volunteer firefighter Marc Mihalik, found the man in approximately six to eight feet of water, some 75 feet off the beach and three-quarters of the way to the buoy line, Porter Fire Chief Jay Craig told the Chesterton Tribune this morning.

ďItís believed he came off a sand bar while chasing a football,Ē Craig said. The body was found very near to where heíd been seen to go underwater, Craig added.

The water was not rough at the time, Craig noted.

Also responding to the scene were the Beverly Shores, Burns Harbor, and Hobart FDs; the Porter and Chesterton police departments; U.S. National Park Service rangers; Porter Hospital EMS; the Porter County Coronerís Office; and Indiana Conservation Officersí chaplains.

Drownings during authorized swimming times at Indiana Dunes State Park, when life-guards are on duty, are rare, although two boys did drown there within an hour of each other on the afternoon of Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018. At the time former IDSP property manager Brandt Baughman told the Tribune that, before the double-drowning that day, he could think of only three prior drownings since 2004, but in all three cases the victims were in the water either early or late in the day when lifeguards were not on duty.


Posted 7/29/2019




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