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IDNR recovers body of Illinois man in Lake Michigan

The Portage Fire Department boat

This story updates and clarifies previous information from the Porter County Coroner's office that friends of the victim identified him as a resident of Mexico.

PORTAGE —An Ohio man died of an apparent drowning Sunday afternoon in Lake Michigan. 

Indiana Conservation Officers identified the victim as Salomon C. Martinez, 30, from Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources said the victim was among five friends who went swimming together at the Portage Lakefront Riverwalk Beach, but he failed to resurface with them.

Assistant Portage Fire Chief Tim Sosby said Sunday evening their boat was returning from Michigan City's Grand Prix boat race when they were called 4:11 p.m. to help.

Portage and Porter Fire Department rescuers located the victim about 200 feet from shore and pulled him out of the water about 4:46 p.m.

Sosby said a south wind had made the lake surface choppy.

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He said emergency responders began cardiopulmonary resuscitation and rushed to him Porter Regional – Portage Campus for further treatment the closest emergency room because the victim had no pulse and was in cardiac arrest.

Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris said early Sunday evening the victim, who friends said was originally from Mexico, was pronounced dead shortly after 6 p.m. at the Portage Hospital emergency room.

The agencies assisting the DNR included: Portage Fire Department, Portage Police Department, Porter Fire Department, and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Law Enforcement Park Rangers. 

Sosby said there has been a higher than average number of calls to assist people on the Lake this season.

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Lake County Reporter

Bill has reported in Lake County since 1972 after graduating from Indiana University. He has worked for The Times since 1997, covering the courts and local government during much of his tenure. Born and raised in New Albany, Ind., he is a native Hoosier.