Man goes missing at West Beach
BY Teresa Auch Schultz firstname.lastname@example.org July 22, 2012 8:34PM
A Portage Fire Department boat searches the water at West Beach on Sunday July 22, 2012. | Jim Karczewski~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 24, 2012 6:17AM
Local officials searched Sunday evening for an Illinois man who went missing at West Beach in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
The 18-year-old man was last seen around 1:20 p.m. when he was wading in waist-deep water in Lake Michigan and walking back to the shore, Indiana Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Bob Cauffman said.
The man told his friends that he was going for a walk, so they didn’t think anything of it when they didn’t see him for awhile, he said. However, they reported him missing about 5 p.m. when he didn’t return. Because of that, officials weren’t sure if they were dealing with a possible drowning or someone missing on land.
“We don’t know what we have,” Cauffman said.
Law enforcement from Porter County, Lake County, Portage, U.S. Coast Guard, the DNR and the National Lakeshore searched on land and in the water for the man, whom Cauffman described as a Hispanic wearing white trunks with green stripes.
About six boats were patrolling the shoreline.
Officials cleared out the beach to the rest of the public about 6 p.m. Bob Martin, from Kankakee, Ill., said that officials had beach goers walk along the shore to help search for the man. Martin said he had gone swimming earlier in the day and that the water had not seemed rough.
“I didn’t think it was bad,” he said.