Girl dies, 2nd critical after rough waters hit Lake Michigan

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. — One girl died and a second was in critical condition after separate weekend incidents involving rough waters in northwest Indiana along the same Lake Michigan beach, officials said.

The girl was pronounced dead Saturday night after she and relatives were swept into deeper waters about 9 a.m. while swimming along Washington Park Beach in Michigan City. Two of the swimmers were rescued but the girl was not immediately found, officials said.

Michigan City Fire Department divers later found the girl, who was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating and the juvenile’s cause of death is pending autopsy results, officials said. Her name, age and hometown were not immediately released.

On Sunday afternoon, a 14-year-old girl from Dayton, Ohio, was at the same Michigan City beach when she and several young people began struggling in the water. The teen was rescued after a jet ski operator spotted her under the water’s surface and she was in critical condition at a South Bend hospital, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The National Weather Service urged swimmers to stay out of the water Monday at northwest Indiana beaches due to dangerous conditions and forecasts of waves as high as 7 feet.

There have been 30 drownings in the Great Lakes this year, according to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, a nonprofit that tracks drownings. Nearly half occurred in Lake Michigan, where strong waves, rip currents and steep drop-offs pose threats to swimmers.