High waves halt search in Winnetka after man went into Lake Michigan

The National Weather Service warned of "large waves and life-threatening currents" at Lake Michigan beaches Tuesday

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A water rescue has been suspended at Elder Lane Beach in Winnetka after officials said a person went into Lake Michigan overnight and did not resurface.

According to officials, the U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search efforts at approximately noon due to high waves on the lake, while police and firefighters from Winnetka officially suspended their search efforts until Tuesday morning.

At approximately 2 a.m., the Winnetka Fire Department responded to a call of a man in his 20s who went into the water at 299 Sheridan Rd with two others. According to the Village of Winnetka, the man was "pulled under the water and did not resurface."

The U.S. Coast Guard was also assisting with the search, officials said. Photos and video from the beach show the Wilmette Fire Department also on the scene.

Tuesday, the National Weather Service issued a beach hazards statement with a high swim risk along all Northeastern Illinois and Northwestern Indiana beaches, saying large waves and "life-threatening currents" would result in dangerous swimming and boating conditions at Lake Michigan.

Wind gusts of more than 35 miles per hour, along with waves of up to 10 feet were reported along the lake, the NBC 5 Storm Team said.

According to officials, the U.S. Coast Guard cannot operate rescue helicopters in winds in excess of 35 miles per hour. Additionally, the maximum wave height a U.S. Coast Guard rescue boat can operate in is eight feet.

Family members later confirmed that the missing swimmer was a 19-year-old man.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect the most recent information about the missing person.

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