Man missing after falling through Lake Michigan shelf ice, Indiana DNR says

PORTAGE, Ind. (WLS) -- A search was underway after a man went missing Monday afternoon in Lake Michigan, said Officer Nicole Baumann, an Indiana Department of Natural Resources spokesperson.

At approximately 5:30 p.m., responders were dispatched to West Beach at Indiana Dunes National Park in reference to a person in the water, Baumann said. Once on scene, responders learned that five people had entered onto shelf ice along the shoreline when it began to crack. The group began to retreat to shore when one person fell into the water.

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Members of the party attempted to reach their friend, but the large waves and unstable ice hindered their efforts, Baumann said. The waves were about three to four feet at this time.

Indiana Conservation Officers along with Portage Fire department, Porter Fire department, Lake County Sheriff's Department, Ogden Dunes Fire department, Indiana Dunes National Park Rangers and United State Coast Guard all responded to the scene and are currently searching, Baumann said.

Baumann said the group of four men and a woman were all in their 20s. The identity of the man, who is from Indianapolis, is being withheld pending family notification. Baumann said the others in the group were from the Portage and Lake Station area.

Indiana Conservation Officers urged the public to stay off shelf ice along Lake Michigan as it can be unpredictable and extremely dangerous.
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