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UPDATE: Search for Missing Teen to Be Suspended "Indefinitely"

Tyler Buczek, a 15-year-old Port Washington boy, went missing in Lake Michigan mid-afternoon on Sunday. After searching all day Monday, authorities said they are ending the active search for the teen.

Updated at 7 p.m. to include details on search being suspended.

Law enforcement officers resumed the search Monday morning for a 15-year-old Port Washington boy who went missing in Lake Michigan on Sunday.

However, at an evening press conference, authorities said they were suspending the search "indefinitely" as of 8:30 p.m. Monday. And by 6:30 p.m., most divers and boats involved in the search for  freshman Tyler Buczek has exited the water.

Eighteen divers spent most of Monday searching for the youth, a quarterback for the school's freshman football team. However, after spending much of the day fighting visibility problems because of algae in the lake and because of looming bad weather, the search is being suspended and will not resume Tuesday.

"Honestly, these divers are just exhausted," said Port Washington Fire Chief Mark Mitchell.

On Tuesday, police officers will continue to patrol the shoreline for any signs of the teen, but the lake search will not continue.

"(Finding him) is like a needle in a haystack — we get lucky, and we find (him)," Mitchell said. "The family is very well known (in Port). It's tough ... I can't imagine what they're going through — as a parent ... it was a tough night last night."

Waves were between two and four feet high on Sunday afternoon, according to Wunderground.com. Mitchell said he has been told there was a rip current warning on Sunday, but he did not officially confirm that with a weather source.

Buczek had been swimming off North Beach with a group of friends when the current took him. He went missing at 2:39 p.m., according to Ozaukee dispatchers. The search was taking place just east of the Filtration Plant, according to a press release, and last until 8 p.m. Sunday.

The search continues

Mitchell said search conditions on Sunday were pretty bad; 4-foot waves limited attempts to use sonar equipment on the boats to search the lake floor. The Coast Guard helicopter joined the search at about 3 p.m. Sunday and continued with efforts throughout the night.

On Monday, a helicopter was first to resume searching the scene at 4:15 a.m. Several rescue boats went on the water about 7 a.m., Mitchell said. With conditions a little bit better than Sunday, divers were able to go in the water.

Officials on the boats sonar equipment to detect areas where Buczek could be and marking those areas with a buoy; as of 2:30 p.m., Mitchell said the dive team had responded to about 20 "false alarms," such as large rocks or debris.

They also struggled with visibility issues as lake waters continue to churn.

"Visibility is horrible," Mitchell said. "What they're experiencing now is all this algae that is being (shaken up from) wave activity."

Shore groups were walking along the breakwall, checking in crevices of the rocks and other parts of the shoreline.

They are limiting their search to the south end of North Beach and down the breakwall, Mitchell said. While there is always a chance that the boy has floated away from this area, he said this is the most likely spot to find him.

"History has shown in Port Washington that our drowning victims that aren't found immediately end up in this area," he said.

Between 60 and 75 law enforcement officials from numerous agencies have helped in the recovery efforts.

The Coast Guard, Milwaukee Fire Department, Ozaukee County Water Safety Patrol, Department of Natural Resources, a Great Lakes K9 unit and the Mequon, Cedarburg, Theinsville and Port Washington Departments have been assisting in the search efforts.

North Beach remains closed throughout the search. 

Community responds to tragedy

A small crowd has gathered along the lakeshore near  as well as in  all day long to watch the search. Randy Schmit, a family friend, was in Upper Lake Park on Monday morning. He said he had heard about the incident from friends on the lake Sunday.

"It's a shame," Schmit said, adding that he had heard Buczek was not a strong swimmer. His friend who messaged him about the incident had been out on the lake using jet skis, and described the conditions as "choppy."

A candlelight vigil is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday at Upper Lake Park, according to a resident who called Patch. Persons should bring their own candle.

A Facebook group asks Port High students to wear blue on Tuesday in Buczek's honor. It would have been his first day of High School.

Counselors and psychologists were available at Port Washington High School on from 1 to 3 p.m. Monday, school staff said. Though Tuesday is a freshmen-only orientation school day, counselors will still be available for any Port High student from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the school's library. 

boat parade set to start at 7 p.m. Sunday was canceled because of the search, Laurence said.

James Meyer September 02, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Wow! This is just terrible. Our hearts go out to the family. We hope he is safe.
Carrie Ehrlich September 02, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.
jackie September 02, 2012 at 10:57 PM
my thoughts and prayers are with and his family
Betty Fields-Mueller September 02, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Thoughts and prayers are going out to this family!I Hope they find him safe and sound!
Colleen B. September 02, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Prayers to the family of the boy. So traggic & so sad!
Maggie Cope September 03, 2012 at 12:49 AM
he went to my school... so sad to see his friends and family struggle with such a terrible thing... prayers to him... his family... and his friends..
Ali September 03, 2012 at 02:15 AM
I know him. I won't leave a name but he was a smart nice and wonderful kid. He went to my school. No one deserves this. I rlly hope he's ok!!!! I'm scared but the best thing we can do is pray for him....:(
Tami Osness September 03, 2012 at 02:45 AM
So so sad!! Thoughts and prayers are with their family!
Jaime Sommers September 03, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Lake Michigan is so much more powerful than we give her credit for. Please please please respect the lake and your own smallness beside and in it! The lake gives and the lake takes away. Recently deceased in Lake Michigan, Peter Dougherty may help him cross over, if that is his path. Peace to friends and family. I hope the results Monday are conclusive in order that you all may begin the healing process. So sorry... We can only hope he is in an even better situation now than he was as a sport and academic star, maybe a star in the Plaedian system. Peace...
Don Voigt September 03, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Tyler was part of our "work family" at Dockside Deli...as is, of course, his mom - Kim. We are all praying for the parents and his brother....so heart wrenching...I cannot tell you how wonderful he was...always the helper and always there when you asked and always willing to serve...did many of our computer monitor software upgrades...a whiz kid and ...well, you can't imagine...oh, help the family...it is so sad.
brian williams September 03, 2012 at 08:10 PM
My heart goes out to the family. Its hard to lose someone so close and with school starting tomorrow. Glad there is help for the kids in school tomorrow.
hayley trier September 03, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Know the family through bamd at the high school. Wow. I know there is still a chance he is out there. Prayers are with your family.
Alli Mader September 03, 2012 at 11:19 PM
prayers go to him, his family, and his friends he went to my school and i didnt know him but i do know that he was very nice and smart. lets not loose hope we can find him
Frannie Bell September 04, 2012 at 01:48 AM
My thoughts n prayers go out to the family. What a tragic thing to happen.
Angela Perkins September 04, 2012 at 01:59 AM
My prayers go out to all his friend's and family during this very dark and horrible time. I pray that the healing process can begin, although the pain will always remain. R.I.P young man.
Emily Black September 04, 2012 at 02:21 AM
My prayers go out to his family!! I hope the find him so can recover with his family I will never forget Tyler and never give up hope.

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