SUN TIMES MEDIA WIRE - Waukegan officials on Tuesday suspended a search for a teenager missing in Lake Michigan, citing poor weather conditions including ice, extreme cold and winds in the northern suburb.
“Pack ice” covering the beach and other areas prevented boats and divers from entering and using sonar equipment, the Waukegan Fire Department said in a statement.
The fire department said it was unsafe to perform recovery operations until conditions change. Officials said they would continue to monitor for improvements.
Waukegan authorities were searching since Friday evening for a 16-year-old boy who jumped into Lake Michigan to save another teen who fell in the water. The teen who initially fell in was made it out of the water, but the teen who jumped in remained missing, authorities said.
Fire crews responded at 4:30 p.m. to the area near Stiner Pavilion and Waukegan Municipal Beach and searched for the teen for 90 minutes before limiting the recovery operation to “ground searches” due to poor visibility and treacherous waves, the department said.
A witness saw another 16-year-old boy jump into the lake to save the the other boy, with both “struggling” against harsh currents, the department said. The boy who fell in ended up making it out of the water and was treated at Vista East Medical Center in Waukegan.
On Monday, fire crews searched the shoreline and Illinois State Police performed an aerial search of the area that was eventually grounded, the department said on Monday. The U.S. Coast Guard was unable to assist with the search efforts due to winter weather conditions.