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.
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.