Search for Chicago man missing in Lake Michigan suspended

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. -- The search for a missing Chicago man with ties to Michiana has been suspended. Emergency responders say the conditions on Lake Michigan are too dangerous right now to continue the search.

Ron Wood Jr. was on a boat with seven other people Saturday around 6 p.m. when several of his friends got separated from the boat while swimming.

He jumped in and saved one person, but then he disappeared.

The search for Wood has turned into a recovery mission because the water hasn't warmed up yet. In some places it's 50-degrees, in others it's up to 60-degrees.

"People say 'Well, that's not that cold,'" said Sergeant Shawn Brown of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

That kind of thinking can be dangerous.

"Things can happen that are unexpected - just to be prepared for them. Preparedness is the key," said Brown.

Seven passengers were rescued Saturday, but Wood still has not been found.

He jumped in to help his friends and rescued on person. When he went back to save another, he disappeared.

The situation could have been prevented if the swimmers were wearing life jackets.

Brown also suggests a float plan. It is something you leave with a friend or family member that states where you intend to travel and the time you will be back.

It's also important to have the proper equipment so you can get help if you need it.

"A marine radio that they can hail the Coast Guard or any other boat that's passing by - to know that there's someone in distress and they can come to aid," said Brown.

The DNR doesn't know when the search for Wood will continue, they will have to wait for lake conditions to improve.

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