Gary man rescued from Lake Michigan

PORTER COUNTY, Ind. – A 24-year-old man from Gary has been rescued after a lengthy search coordinated by Indiana Conservation Officers, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

On Friday around 5 pm, the 24-year-old man left the Portage Marina on a personal watercraft to go riding on the lake. After he did not return home, his family found his car and called 911.

Additional assistance was needed in the search as police and conservation officers determined the man might be in danger.

The Portage Police Department initially began searching the lakefront with an unmanned aerial vehicle. The Portage Fire Department’s Marine 1, the United States Coast Guard, Lake County Sherriff’s Department Aviation and Marine Unit, Ogden Dunes Police and Indiana Dunes National Park Ranger responded and expanded search efforts.

On Saturday around 1:45 am, the Coast Guard’s helicopter spotted the man and his watercraft vehicle. He was about five miles offshore from Portage Lakefront Park and was taken ashore to safety.

The man reported having mechanical issues with his watercraft around 8 pm but was not able to return to shore. He did not have a cell phone or any way to call for help.

Conservation officers strongly encourage recreational watercraft users to carry a variety of safety equipment, including communication devices while boating. Officers say to always tell someone where you are going and when you might be back.

For more information on boating safety, visit the DNR’s website.

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