Search for missing swimmers in NW Indiana shifts to recovery mission; efforts to resume Sunday

The search for two missing swimmers in Lake Michigan in Northwest Indiana has been deemed a recovery mission and will resume on Sunday. 

Officials were notified just before 3 p.m. Friday of a boat in distress off the shore near Whiting, located nearly one nautical mile offshore from the Hammond Marina. 

A Coast Guard crew from Station Chicago was called to the scene, along with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Lake County Sheriff's Office, who also launched two helicopters to aid in the search efforts. 

Initially, there were eight people on board the 23-foot-long boat and three were in the water, the Coast Guard said.

When crews arrived, five people were on the boat and three men went into the water.

One of the swimmers was rescued. He was wearing a life jacket and was taken to an area hospital for hypothermia but was later released, according to the Indiana DNR. 

The other two swimmers, two men, were not wearing life jackets and had gone under the water but did not resurface, according to the Coast Guard.

The five other people on the boat were taken to the shore and their boat was towed to the Hammond Marina. 

Search efforts for the missing swimmers began Friday and extended into Saturday. 

The swimmers have not been located, as of around 3 p.m. Saturday. Officials said they've deemed the search a "recovery mission" and that they will begin searching with sonar equipment on Sunday. 

We'll bring more updates to this story as they become available. 

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