Crew search for missing Blue Island man in Lake Michigan

Rescue crews including a Coast Guard helicopter are searching Lake Michigan near Hammond, Ind for a missing swimmer.

50-year-old Michael Janko from Blue Island went swimming this afternoon and disappeared.

The Coast Guard reports they received a call about 4 p.m. today after a male who was on a boat went swimming a half mile from Whahala Beach.  Janko was on a boat with two other people.

“We know there were some men out on a boat,” volunteer diver Stanley Gaskey told WGN News. “One of them went into the water and ran into trouble. The others went in to help but couldn’t find him.”

The victim did not appear to have been wearing a life jacket when he got off the boat to go for a swim.

Volunteers from the water rescue group “Aquatics” joined the US Coast Guard, Hammond Fire Department and Lake County Sheriffs Office in the search, which stretched into Thursday evening.

Divers used a boat equipped with a tow-bar to pull them across the calm water in grids, saving their strength. The water is 16 to 20 feet deep, but visibility is good.

Check back for updates.

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