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New Lenox Man’s Body Found In Lake Near Gary

Lake Search

The search continues for a New Lenox man who disappeared in Lake Michigan off Gary. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED 08/11/11 2:10 p.m.

GARY, Ind. (CBS) – Divers have found the body of a New Lenox man, who was apparently overwhelmed by rip currents while swimming in Lake Michigan near Gary, Ind., on Wednesday.

The 20-year-old man was last seen at the Wells Street Beach in Gary on Wednesday.

Thursday afternoon, the Lake County (Ind.) Sheriff’s office announced that its Marine Unit Dive Team had found the man’s body near Miller Beach in Indiana.

Rip current advisories have been issued along the southern shore of Lake Michigan for the past two days, prompting the closure of some beaches to swimmers.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

The beach in Gary was not closed, and authorities say on Wednesday, four friends were swimming in big waves when the New Lenox man disappeared.

They were about 200 feet from shore when a wave crashed. Soon afterward, the men’s friends ran up to a concession stand and said the man was missing.

Rip currents can overwhelm even strong swimmers.

Divers were unable to get in the water Wednesday. Instead, boats from the Gary Fire Department and U.S. Coast Guard patrolled the waters while the Lake County Sheriff’s Department helicopter scanned the lake and beach from overhead. Officers from the Gary Police Department and National Lakeshore police patrolled the beach.

But no one could find the man on Wednesday and the search resumed Thursday morning.

“Obviously, there’s a lot of emotion going on and everything like that, and so I just care for the family is what I do,” Lake County (Ind.) Sheriff’s Department Chaplain Jay Berke said. “I spent a couple hours with his mom last night.”

A witness said she warned the man and his friends that swimming would be dangerous before they went in.