MICHIGAN CITY — Water-based searches were postponed late Sunday for a 17-year-old South Bend boy last seen Saturday night offshore in the area of Washington Park, according to officials.

The search for Rahem Mason was postponed until conditions improve on Lake Michigan, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

The search for Mason began shortly after he was seen going under the water around 7 p.m. Saturday, the DNR said.

The search resumed Sunday without success, according to the DNR. The condition of the lake will reportedly be evaluated on a daily basis for purposes of the search.

"Our thoughts are with the family during this difficult time," the DNR said in a statement Sunday night.

The Indiana Conservation Officers Central Dispatch Center received a report at 7:07 p.m. Saturday about the possible drowning involving Mason.

"Witnesses observed Rahem go under the surface and did not see him above surface again," the DNR said.

Keep reading for FREE!
Enjoy more articles by signing up or logging in. No credit card required.

Michigan City firefighters were on scene within minutes of the report and began manually searching the water, according to the DNR. High waves and currents prevented a search by scuba divers.

The Coast Guard searched the area with a boat and helicopter, according to the DNR.

"The incident occurred after normal swimming hours and the water had been closed throughout the day due to dangerous waves and currents," the DNR said.

Also assisting was the Michigan City Police Department, Long Beach Police Department, LaPorte County EMS, LaPorte County Dispatch Center and the American Red Cross.

The search comes nearly two months after the body of a 23-year-old South Bend man was found washed up on the shoreline at Indiana Dunes State Park near where he was last seen nearly two weeks prior setting out on a kayak, according to officials.

The body of Jacob Sandy was found May 29 and it was believed to be an accidental drowning, the DNR said at the time.

Sign up for our Crime & Courts newsletter

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Porter/LaPorte County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.