Search for boy resumes at lakeshore
By Christin Nance Lazerus and Teresa Auch Schultz email@example.com July 9, 2012 10:50AM
A U.S. Park Ranger boat patrols the waters offshore as rescue efforts continue the search for a missing 15-year-old swimmer at Portage Lakefront & Riverwalk in Portage, Ind. Monday July 9, 2012. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
Man struggling to swim in lake makes it out OK
A man who was struggling in the waters of Lake Michigan near Beverly Shores was able to get safely to shore on Monday afternoon.
Indiana Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Gene Davis said the man called out for help and splashed around, but he was able to get back to shore without help. Davis, who said the incident occurred around noon, said the man didn’t require any medical treatment.
Rip currents were particularly strong in Lake Michigan on Sunday, but there still was a risk of them on Monday.
The National Weather Service advises swimmers who are caught in a rip current not to panic. They should begin to calmly swim parallel to the shore, and once they are away from the force of the current begin to swim back to the beach. Swimmers should not attempt to swim directly against a rip current because they can become exhausted quickly.
Post-Tribune staff report
Updated: July 9, 2012 10:42PM
PORTAGE — Emergency personnel continued to search for a missing 15-year-old boy Monday who went under the water while swimming in Lake Michigan Sunday afternoon.
Portage resident Corey McFry was swimming about 200 yards out in the water around 5:30 p.m. along with three friends, according to Indiana Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Gene Davis. McFry was standing on a sandbar when he either stepped off it or was knocked off by 4-foot waves. He went under water, and his friends could not find him. A female friend swam back to shore to get some help, and someone called 911.
Many of the beaches on the south shore of Lake Michigan were under a rip current advisory on Sunday. The Portage Lakefront Beach has a permanent sign warning of the dangers of rip currents, which are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from the shore. They occur most often at low spots or breaks in the sandbar and near groins, jetties and piers.
Bruce Rowe, a park ranger spokesman for the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, said that the Coast Guard had a boat and helicopter searching for the boy, the DNR used its boat, and the Lake County Sheriff’s Department was out in its helicopter. Divers from Portage, Burns Harbor, Ogden Dunes, Chesterton, Porter, Chesterton and South Haven also aided in the search. The search area stretched from the Portage breakwall to about a half-mile west. The search will end around 8 p.m., and a surface search will begin at 7 a.m. Tuesday, using only boats and helicopters.
McFry’s family kept vigil at the park on Monday in the hopes that his body would be recovered.
The park was closed around 7 p.m. Sunday, so officials could search for the boy, and it was closed Monday as well. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Law Enforcement Specialist Ken Mehne said that the park would decide late Monday about whether they would reopen Tuesday. Mehne said that the wind and surf conditions calmed down Monday to make the search a little easier.