Divers and sonar equipment were deployed for a second day Saturday as searches continue for a father believed to have drowned on the Fox Lake while tubing with his children.
The Fox Lake Fire Protection District responded around 10 a.m. Friday to the Fox Lake south of Crabapple Island for a report of a water rescue.
Fox Lake Fire Protection District Deputy Chief Ed Lescher said a 28-year-old man and his two children were being pulled on a water tube by a pontoon boat.
The man and his two children fell off the tube into the water, Lescher said.
The two children were wearing life jackets but the father was not wearing one, Lescher said.
The man did not resurface and the driver of the pontoon boat called 911.
Lake County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Christopher Covelli said Friday afternoon that multiple fire crews were on the scene attempting to locate the man.
Over two dozen fire departments were sent to the scene with divers, boats and sonar equipment. Helicopters and drones were also overhead assisting in the search on Friday.
The incident was elevated to a second alarm through the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS). Fire crews cleared the scene Friday evening after searching all day on the lake.
On Saturday, the incident was elevated to a third alarm through the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) as searches continued.
The staging area for the first responders is at Fams On the Chain, located at 112 Lakeview Avenue in Fox Lake.
Crews switched from “rescue mode” to “recovery mode,” about an hour and a half into the search effort Friday, Lescher said.
Lescher added that the water on Fox Lake is very murky and divers have low visibility.
The Fox Lake Fire Protection District said in a statement Saturday that boaters should avoid the area as boat traffic could hamper recovery efforts.
The Illinois Department of Conservation Police Department is leading the investigation, Covelli said.