A flare that washed up on the Lake Michigan beach Tuesday in Gary. | Supplied photo
Updated: July 12, 2014 6:34AM
GARY — A mysterious silver container washed up east of Lake Street beach about noon Tuesday, spurring police and fire officials to cordon off the area and call for help from a hazardous material team and an area bomb squad.
Written on the outside was, “If located, contact the police or military.”
It turns out it was a flare. Or what was left of one.
Police at the scene speculated the phosphorus flare may have been used in the search for a boat that caught fire on its way from New Buffalo, Mich., to Burnham Harbor in Chicago on June 1.
At least one person died, officials said.
The Coast Guard likely used several flares to mark the area where they were looking. Tuesday’s east wind may have sent flares floating toward shore,
Members of the Lake County Marine Unit removed the flare from the beach without incident, King said.
The container belongs to federal authorities and will be returned to the Coast Guard, Lake County police spokeswoman Patti Van Til said.