Nathan traveling to meet rescuers

Michigan City, Ind. planning two ceremonies to mark sand dune survival

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. – Nathan Woessner, the 6-year-old Sterling boy who survived a 3-and-a-half-hour entombment in a sand dune on July 12, will return to Michigan City Wednesday to meet Indiana’s governor and those who helped rescue him.

Mayor Ron Meer said the city is planning two public ceremonies.

Gov. Mike Pence will attend an hourlong ceremony at 11 a.m. at City Hall, then around 1 p.m., the city will honor the rescuers at a recognition program in the Stardust Events Center at Blue Chip Casino. That program will have a presentation on the rescue, including photos of how the incident unfolded and of Nathan’s recovery.

Nathan and a friend were following their fathers up the Mount Baldy sand dune at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore around 4:30 p.m. when Nathan fell into a hole and disappeared under 11 feet of sand. His family members, park service workers and others dug frantically with their hands trying to reach him.

Then police, firefighters, emergency workers and others, including private contractors and excavators, arrived, and dug for hours until Nathan was found and pulled from the hole. They thought they were recovering his body, but on the way to the ambulance, he gasped for air.

He spent 2 weeks at the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital, and after a few days in a rehabilitation facility, he was allowed to go home. He started school at Unity Christian in Fulton on Monday.

The visit Wednesday will be the first time back for the family, which includes his parents, Greg and Faith Woessner, and his siblings, Marcus, 3, Olivia, 8, and Jake, 13.