Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Man Rescued From Lake Michigan After Watercraft Breaks Down 5 Miles From Shore

An Indiana man was rescued from Lake Michigan early Saturday morning after his watercraft suffered a mechanical issue, leaving him stranded adrift on the water for several hours.

According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the man left the Portage Marina at approximately 5 p.m. Friday to go riding on Lake Michigan.

After the man failed to return home, family members located his vehicle parked at the marina, and called police.

The Portage Police Department used a drone to search along the lakefront, but were unsuccessful in finding the man. The United States Coast Guard, the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana Dunes National Park rangers and the Portage Fire Department ultimately joined the search, which stretched on for several hours.

At approximately 1:45 a.m. Saturday, a Coast Guard helicopter spotted the man adrift on his watercraft, approximately five miles offshore from the park. A vessel on the water found him and returned him to safety.

The man told officials that he had mechanical issues with his craft at approximately 8 p.m., but didn’t have a cell phone or radio onboard the craft.

Officials are urging residents to use caution when on the water, and to always have communication devices available in case of an emergency.

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