frigid site of missing Grayslake teen inLake Michigan

Tim Olk photo

Wonder Lake FPD air boat enters frozen lake

Tim Olk photo

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Waukegan first responders firefighters were frustrated again by bad weather as they attempted to locate a 16-year-old boy who jumped into the frigid waters of Lake Michigan last Friday afternoon to save a friend who accidentally fell in. There were three teenagers who were walking out onto the pier that has a channel light on the end. Rescuers searched for the second 16-year-old who had jumped in to help his friend, but they were unsuccessful. The third person, a male witness who called 911, said they were just walking out on the pier when one of them accidentally slipped into the water, and the missing youth jumped in to help him. The 911 caller said they were both struggling.

Police and fire department personnel performed beach searches Tuesday for the missing boy who is presumed drowned, and plan to continue doing that until ice accumulation leaves the beach area or it freezes solid enough for divers to cut a hole in the ice.

Since the incident at 4:30 p.m. off a pier on the north side of the Waukegan Harbor channel, the Waukegan Fire Department has only been able to get out once with side-scan sonar on an airboat, but within three hours Monday, the wind shifted and blew pack ice into the beach area.

On Tuesday, a red cone marked the spot where the 16-year-old who fell in first was pulled out of the water by Waukegan police officers. Another cone on the beach marked where a cadaver dog indicated a possible body.

Side-scan sonar was used that Friday night, but darkness and worsening weather hampered operations. On the following day, gale force winds ruled out using a boat because of the waves, and on Sunday, plunging temperatures froze the water in the harbor so a boat couldn’t be launched.

On Monday, the Illinois State Police conducted a flyover and searched the area, but did not find anything before they were grounded because of the weather. For a short time Monday, rescuers used an air boat from the Wauconda Fire Department to once again use side-scan sonar to search for the body, but within three hours, the change in wind direction pushed pack ice into the beach area, ending the search.

Excerpts from the DailyHerad.com:

The teen who went missing in Lake Michigan near Waukegan last week is a Grayslake North High School student. District 127 Superintendent Mikkel Storaasli said teachers and students continue to hold out hope for the student, who has not yet been identified.

On Friday (1/25/19), firefighters from Des Plaines and Lansing assisted Waukegan with a Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle (ROV).

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