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UPDATE: Weather Impacts Search For South Bend Teen Feared Missing In Lake Michigan

Photo provided through IN DNR

UPDATE:  The Indiana DNR issued an update today on the impact that weather is having on the search for Rahem Mason in Lake Michigan off the beach in Michigan City.

Here is the latest from the DNR: 


The rough water and high waves on Lake Michigan continue to hinder divers searching for missing South Bend swimmer Rahem Mason.

Witnesses observed Mason, 17, disappear beneath the surface of the water on Lake Michigan and not resurface at approximately 7:07 p.m. Saturday.

Divers from Michigan City Police, LaPorte County Sheriffs Office, Michigan City Fire Department, and Indiana Conservation Officers met this morning and determined conditions were unsafe to conduct dive operations due to five-foot waves in the Washington Park area.

Waves crashed over the break wall as members of the various departments walked the lighthouse pier to visually search the area near the pier. The Michigan City Fire Department launched a UAV (drone) to search the area from the air. 

Indiana Conservation Officers are considering a sonar search by boat this afternoon if the lake provides workable conditions for sonar use.

Divers from the respective departments plan on diving tomorrow morning if the weather cooperates.


The Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources issued the following release regarding efforts to find a South Bend teen: 


Michigan City, IN- Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating the disappearance of 17 year old South Bend  resident Rahem Mason in Lake Michigan.


At approximately 7:07 p.m. Saturday evening, Indiana Conservation Officers Central Dispatch Center received a report of a possible drowning in Lake Michigan in the area of Washington Park. Witnesses observed Rahem go under the surface and did not see him above surface again.


Within minutes, Michigan City Firefighters arrived on scene and began to manually search the water. High waves and currents prevented a search by scuba divers. A United States Coast Guard vessel immediately responded and searched the area by boat. Additionally a United States Coast Guard helicopter conducted a search by air.


Initial search efforts were unsuccessful and have resumed this morning. The incident occurred after normal swimming hours and the water had been closed throughout the day due to dangerous waves and currents. Any questions regarding Washington Park’s rules and regulations should be referred to the Michigan City Police Department.


Assisting agencies included: Michigan City Police Department, Michigan City Fire Department, Michigan City Police Chaplains, Long Beach Police Department, United States Coast Guard, LaPorte County EMS, LaPorte County Dispatch Center and The Red Cross.