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High winds cause officials to suspend search for missing Chicagoan at Lake Mead

Updated Friday, June 21, 2013 | 4:13 p.m.

The search for a 35-year-old Chicago man who went missing Thursday at Lake Mead was called off Friday afternoon after high winds made conditions dangerous for those trying to find the man's body.

By 7 a.m. Friday, park rangers had restarted searching the surface and shoreline near Sentinal Island, where the man, identified by family as Istvan Tibor Feichtner, was last seen Thursday afternoon after jumping into the water without a lifejacket, park spokeswoman Christie Vanover said. Witnesses reported seeing the man struggle before his disappearance.

Water depths in that area, between Painter’s Cove and Castle Reef in the Boulder Basin of Lake Mead, range from shallow near the shore to 200 feet farther out, Vanover said.

But for the second consecutive day, high winds forced officials to call off the search before nightfall.

Vanover said the three National Park Service boats and one Metro Police boat, along with divers and other personnel looking for the man, were called back in about 1:30 p.m. Friday after gusty winds began picking up on the lake.

National Park Service and Las Vegas Boat Harbor officials also had to suspend search efforts at 6:30 p.m. Thursday because of windy conditions.

Authorities hope to continue the search Saturday morning , Vanover said.

Metro Police’s search and rescue team is assisting the search and use sonar technology to scan the lakebed, Vanover said.

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