Divers search for boy missing in lake at Indiana Dunes

July 9, 2012 (PORTAGE, Ind.)

Despite the waves and warning about rip currents, the teen was swimming with friends at the Ogden Dunes area when he went under Sunday at approximately 6 p.m.

Authorities say they think a current pulled him off of a sand bar and kept him under water.

"He swam out to deeper water and stepped off the edge of the sandbar. He disappeared into the heavy waves," said Brice Plymouth of the Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources.

Emergency crews searched for the boy Sunday, but the boats, scuba divers and helicopter were not enough to find him in the rip current conditions.

Divers for the Dept. of National Resources resumed looking for the teen Monday with sonar equipment.

The beach area where the boy went missing is not guarded and there are no warning signs or daily flags. The decision to go into the water is up to the swimmer.

The fiance of the boy's mother talked to ABC7 Chicago Monday.

"He was an alright swimmer. I mean, that's pretty much why he was staying on the sand bar. I can't say he was the greatest swimmer. He wasn't on the swim team or anything, but I mean, he could swim. But I think with the way the conditions were yesterday, I don't think the best swimmer could have dealt with it," said Mark McGregor.

Officials said waves Monday could reach four to five feet, but the rip current warning that was in effect Sunday was lifted.

Still, crews could have a difficult time searching -- even with sonar scans. /p>

"There are limitations as far as, it shoots out a straight beam, and when you get into an area where there's a trough on the bottom or where there's a dropoff, that that beam will go on a straight line across from where that sandbar was. So, if he was laying in a trough, it would be very difficult to see on the sidescan," said Gene Davis of the Indiana Department of Na

Officials are warning beachgoers about rip currents. They say, if caught in one, swimmers should save their energy and let it carry them out into the water initially or swim to the side, parallel to the shore, instead of trying to fight the rip current directly. Then, swim back to shore when it is over.

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