stock ambulance

GARY — Two Northwest Indiana men drowned Saturday in Lake Michigan while trying to save another beachgoer near Wells Street Beach in the city’s Miller section. 

Three other people were pulled from the water and rescued Saturday during the incident, which occurred during Gary’s Air Show about two miles east of the event site. One victim was from Hobart, the other from Griffith, according to Lake County Coroner Merrilee Frey.

The man from Griffith has been identified as 26-year-old Kyle Reibly, who was pronounced dead at 3:48 p.m., according to the coroner’s office. The second victim — David Halford, 37, of Hobart — was pronounced dead at 3:30 p.m.*

The call came in about 2:30 p.m., said Mark Jones, chief of operations for the Gary Fire Department. Neither Gary Air Show event organizers, nor fire officials, could confirm whether the drowning victims were at Wells Street Beach on Saturday to watch the city’s air show.

A woman was also transported to the hospital, but survived, after attempting to save a child, Frey said. The child was unharmed, she said.

Gary spokeswoman LaLosa Burns said announcers at the Air Show repeatedly warned people not to swim in Lake Michigan waters due to dangerous rip currents. 

Burns said there are traditionally private events held in the area of the Air Show each year, but said she didn’t know if the individuals who drowned were at Wells Street Beach to watch the event.

The National Weather Service issued a beach hazard warning Friday, urging people to stay out of the water due to hazardous weather conditions. The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project forecast high winds could produce dangerous currents and waves as high as 6 feet. 

In a news release issued Friday, the GLSRP stated surf conditions forecast for Saturday "are eerily similar to the 2012 Gary Air Show surf forecast when fifteen year old Cory McFry drowned." 

McFry was playing in the waters of Lake Michigan with friends when he was swept from a sandbar into water over his head. 

* Editor's note: This story was updated from a previous version.

Correction: Because of information provided by the Lake County coroner's office, a story Sunday incorrectly identified a drowning victim. David Halford, 37, of Hobart, drowned after going under the water at Wells Street Beach in Gary, according to a corrected a coroner's release issued Sunday.