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Crews search Lake Michigan for 2 Chicago-area men who went missing while boating in Indiana waters

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HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — Crews were searching Lake Michigan for two suburban Chicago men Saturday, more than a day after they went missing as a large group of people were boating along northwestern Indiana’s coastline, authorities said.

Strong winds and high waves were creating “very poor conditions” on the lake Saturday and were hampering the search efforts, Indiana conservation officer Alex Neel said.

He said 12 people were on the boat Friday afternoon off of Hammond, Indiana, when one man jumped into the lake to go swimming but began struggling, prompting a second man to jump in to help him, only to also find himself struggling in the waters.

A third man then put on a life jacket and entered the lake to try to help his two companions, but he also began struggling before strong winds pushed him and the two other men away from the boat, Neel said.

The nine other people on the boat did not know how to operate the vessel, he said. They called 911 and also shot off flares. All nine were later rescued by conservation officers, who found the boat nearly 2 1/2 miles (4 kilometers) off of the Whiting, Indiana, shoreline and towed it back to shore, Neel said.

Indiana conservation officers began searching for the three missing men about 2:40 p.m. Friday. Two hours later, the U.S. Coast Guard located the man wearing a life jacket in the lake. He was treated at a hospital and released.

One of the two missing men is from northern Illinois community of Elk Grove Village, and the other man is from the nearby village of Mount Prospect, Neel said.

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