Beach goers leery of dunes while they're under investigation - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Beach goers leery of dunes while they're under investigation


At Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, officials have no idea why 6-year-old Nathan Woessner was buried under 11 feet of sand, but they want to make sure nothing like that happens again.

That's why they are taking precautions, even closing down Mount Baldy to beach goers like Jack Kiley. "Mount Baldy, yeah that's the dunes that we go to. The kids like the hill and everything like that."

But Tuesday, Kiley took his kids to Central Beach instead. "Kinda figured even if it weren't closed it might not be the best place to take three 13-year-olds and my daughter as well, so I figured we would go to a different one."

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore spokesperson, Bruce Rowe says Mount Baldy is closed indefinitely and some beach goers are bummed. "There's a lot of disappointed people that want to go to Mount Baldy, it's probably the signature dune that we have here."

But he says they have protocol to follow before anyone climbs the dune again. "We're bringing in resources, we're bringing in expert geologists who may have heard of such a thing and we're also looking for equipment that will allow us to look under the surface of the dune."

He says they're also turning to national experts, because this is something they've never seen. "This is a phenomenon that we're not familiar with at all, we've done some initial searching in the literature and haven't found anything like this."

Until they have a better idea of what happened Friday, he says no one will be on Mount Baldy, even regular visitors like Jenna Baker. "Those high dunes like that, I love running up and down them, it's really fun and the water's so clean and clear. We've been going pretty much my whole life sine I can remember."

And for some beach goers, Friday's accident will change their dune experience forever. No matter which ones they visit. "They're up climbing the dunes right here so I'm sweating a little bit now," says Kiley.

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