Body of missing swimmer found in Lake Michigan

9th Coast Guard District News
CLEVELAND — The search for a missing Illinois man ended Thursday night as divers found his body in Lake Michigan.

Dead is Michael Janko, 50, of Blue Island, Ill.

At 3:45 p.m., a search-and-rescue controller at Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan, in Milwaukee, was contacted by a boater who said Janko went missing while he was swimming in Lake Michigan .25 miles north of Wahala Beach in Hammond, Ind.

The owner/operator told the Coast Guard that Janko jumped into the water then resurfaced but was unresponsive. Another swimmer grabbed onto him, but could not keep hold of him. He went under the water and did not resurface. He was not wearing a life jacket.

A rescue boatcrew aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small launched from Coast Guard Station Calumet Harbor, Ill., and a rescue aircrew aboard an MH-65C Dolphin helicopter launched from Coast Guard Air Facility Waukegan, Ill. Also searching were rescue crews from the Lake County, Ind., Sheriff’s Office, Indiana Department of Natural Resources and Hammond Fire Department.

A boatcrew with the Indiana Conservation Marine Unit conducting side-scanning sonar searches directed the Lake County Sheriff’s Office divers to the area where they located Janko’s body at 10:28 p.m. The sheriff’s marine unit boatcrew transported Janko’s body to the Hammond Marina, where it was turned over to the Lake County Coroner.

The Coast Guard RB-S crew, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office boatcrew, and the Coast Guard rescue helicopter crew conducted eight sorties, over a period of almost eight hours, and covered a cumulative area of more than 40 square nautical miles.

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