Person Missing After Raft Tips in Lake Michigan

U.S. Marine from Lockport rescues woman

Divers, boats and a helicopter searched Monday evening night for a New York man who disappeared into the waters of Lake Michigan near Beverly Shores, Ind.

Leonel Dominguez, 31, of the Bronx and his friend Evelyn Hernandez went out in the water on an inflatable boat raft purchased in Chesterton, explained Indiana Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Gene Davis.

Hernandez told authorities that Dominguez jumped into the water and tried to tow the boat back to shore by swimming, as he'd done hours earlier in the day, but had difficulty dealing with the high wind and choppy waters.

Dominguez tried to get back into the boat, but a gust flipped it over, sending him and Hernandez back into the water, said Davis. The raft quickly floated away, so the pair had to swim back to the beach.

Hernandez was starting to give up hope, so she started screaming for help.

Nearby, U.S. Marine Nick Dominguez -- no relation to the New York Man -- heard the cries and jumped into action. He was able to help Hernandez to a sandbar where she could stand.

The Marine then turned his attention to Dominguez, but he was no where to be found.

"Lake Michigan is different than any other lake," Davis said. "Particularly on the southern end, it warms up and makes conditions ideal for visitors, but it’s the most affected area by wind and waves."

First responders from nearly a dozen agencies helped with the search. The search resumed Tuesday morning.

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