TUESDAY UPDATE: The search for a Chicago man who went missing in the waters of Lake Michigan off Mount Baldy this weekend has continued Tuesday.
Rough waters suspended the search Monday, but crews have returned to the scene.
How it began
When the weather warms up, people flock to the beach. But according to rescuers, they don't realize that the water is unusually cold due to the harsh winter; and that's exactly what happened with one group of boaters Saturday evening.
On Sunday afternoon, a particular stretch of Lake Michigan looked quiet and peaceful. But that wasn't the case the day before when a group of people took a motorboat out on the lake. They stopped a mile or so north of Mount Baldy and two young women dove into the water.
"The wind that day was pretty strong," said Vinny Deluca with the U.S. Coast Guard out of Michigan City. "They didn't anchor their boat and when they jumped into the water the wind pushed the boat away from them."
DNR rescuers spent all day Sunday, searching for the boat's owner, 29-year-old Ron Wood Jr., who along with others attempted to help the young women. Ultimately, six people ended up in the water.
"When I arrived on scene the people in the water were very frightened, just panicking," Deluca said. "They wanted us to find their friend, they were shivering, hypothermia set in quick."
With the help of some good samaritans passing by, the Coast Guard was able to pull everyone except Wood out of the frigid waters. The Coast Guard spent hours searching for him.
"With the water temps being so cold and hypothermia setting in so quick, with infrared, it can affect being able to see in the water," Deluca said.
The Coast Guard called off the search at around 2:30 Sunday morning due to fatigue. Indiana DNR officers picked it back up a few hours later using sonar technology.
"We kind of had a general area of where the men were rescued from the coast guard and so we searched that area," said Sgt. Shawn Brown with Indiana DNR. "We did GPS tracking across that area and we covered it heavily."
They ended the search Sunday afternoon. Brown says Wood would have turned 30 Sunday.
In the Chicago area the Coast Guard has stopped searching for two people lost in Lake Michigan.
Two people have already been rescued, but one woman died from hypothermia and another person is in the hospital in stable condition.
All four were on a boat that had been to New Buffalo and was returning to the Chicago area Saturday when it caught fire and started sinking.
The frigid water temperatures in Lake Michigan are unusually cold because of the brutal winter, which make surviving in the water extremely difficult -- even if you're wearing a life jacket.