A surfer went missing for more than an hour Monday off Burns Ditch, according to a Facebook post from the Town of Chesterton. At the time, the surfer had last been seen paddling around the breakwater at the mouth of the Burns Waterway at the Portage Lakefront and Riverfront site at Indiana Dunes National Park.
At 4:06 p.m.—45 minutes after the 25-year-old male surfer had vanished from sight—a concerned person on the beach called 911 to report that the subject “had not come back in and could not be seen anymore” and that the surfer’s vehicle “was still in the parking lot,” according to the Chesterton Fire Department. The CFD, along with the Porter and Portage FDs, responded to the scene with divers.
When last spotted on the beach, the surfer had been eastbound in the water, and Porter firefighters were assigned at 4:14 p.m. to a position on the Dune Acres beach, on the far side of the U.S. Steel facility, in the event wind and waves had carried him that far, the CFD reported.
At 4:30 p.m., the surfer was located. The Town of Chesterton said on its Facebook that the incident report did not specify where he was found, only that he was “fine,” and all responding agencies were cleared at 4:31 p.m.
Chesterton Fire Department Deputy Chief Rudy Jimenez noted that temperatures were in the 20s and the water was in the 40s.