Rescue units ended a maritime search for a young man early Tuesday afternoon in Winnetka with hopes of resuming on Wednesday, according to Village of Winnetka officials.
Village Communications Manager Josie Clark said that emergency units received a call at 2:12 a.m. that a man in his late teens was “pulled under the water” near Elder Lane Beach, 239 Sheridan Road in Winnetka. The missing individual reportedly was with two others at the beach when he went into the water and did not surface.
The search was limited because of dangerous water conditions that included high winds and large waves, keeping first responders from entering the water from the shoreline. The U.S. Coast Guard joined the rescue efforts with water units and a helicopter.
After several hours, officials reported that the operation had become a recovery mission.
Clark told The Record that the mission was called off in the early afternoon with the Coast Guard withdrawing around noon and the Village of Winnetka, which also used an infrared drone, shortly after.
A Winnetka police officer on the scene in Elder Lane Park during the search for a person missing in Lake Michigan.
Elder Lane Beach, a property of the Winnetka Park District, has been closed all season because of an eroded and dangerous beachfront.
Winnetka Park District Executive Director John Peterson said that signage and barriers are in place to mitigate access.
“Despite signage indicating the beach is closed, we are aware of individuals who attempt and often times are successful accessing the beach,” he said, adding that district officials are considering additional methods to block the beach, such as additional fence at the park level atop Elder’s bluff.
The National Weather Service on Monday evening and early Tuesday morning reported “life-threatening currents” near the shoreline of Lake Michigan up and down the North Shore.
Stay tuned to The Record North Shore as this story develops.
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