OGDEN DUNES, Ind. (CBS) — The body of a 15-year-old boy has been found along the lake shore in the Indiana Dunes, about a day and a half after he disappeared.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, authorities say the body of Corey McFry was found along the shores of Lake Michigan at Ogden Dunes, Ind., around 5 a.m. Tuesday.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports
An auxiliary Coast Guard officer who lives near the lake scanned the shore and found McFry’s body on the beach.
McFry had been swimming with friends near the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Sunday afternoon, when they turned around and he was gone. Soon afterward, witnesses saw him struggling in the water, about 200 yards from shore.
He had been caught in a rip current, and began to call for help as 5-foot waves engulfed him.
The National Weather Service had issued a rip current advisory at the time Corey disappeared.
Indiana Conservation Officer Gene Davis said, “Whether he stepped off or was knocked off balance by a wave, but anyway, he stepped off of that sandbar, went in the water over his head, went under, and never did reappear.”
Two of the Corey’s friends continued to look for him, while a third returned to shore to call for help just before 6 p.m. Sunday. The U.S. Coast Guard searched for the boy for the rest of Sunday evening and on Monday through the late afternoon.
Family friend Mark McGregor described Corey as “unique,” saying he had a love for skateboarding and video games.
“He could swim, but I mean with the way the conditions were yesterday, I don’t think the best swimmer could have dealt with that,” said McGregor.
Corey was supposed to attend Portage High School this fall.
Officials say nine people have drowned in Lake Michigan just the past four weeks. There were only 15 drownings in total in all of 2011.
Emergency room doctors from Lurie Children’s Hospital and Chicago Park District officials held a news conference Tuesday on the dangers of the lake.
McFry’s is hardly an isolated case. WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports Lurie Children’s Hospital emergency room doctor Elizabeth Powell says 10 people under age 17 died by drowning in just the past 3 1/2 weeks.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports
By comparison, there were only 15 children who drowned in and around Chicago during all of last year.
Powell pointed to a shallow wading pool to point out that kids can drown in even a few inches of water. She said the only way parents can prevent toddler drownings is to stay in direct eye contact with the child at all times.
And Powell said even teens and adults who are sure they can swim should do so under the watchful eye of another, just in case.