09/25/12 Inclement weather on Saturday forced an emergency sea plane landing on Riddles Lake in southern St. Joseph County.

  The pilot, Michael Monreal of Barrington (IL), and his passengers were unharmed. Monreal was en route from Wolf Lake, Illinois to James Lake near Angola, Indiana when late morning storms in the South Bend area induced him to wait out the weather before continuing on.

  Landing on the choppy water surface caused a support cable to break. Indiana Conservation Officers and the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department towed the plane to a nearby boat ramp to be secured for repairs. Lakeville Fire, Lakeville Police, and the South Bend ambulance service were also on scene.

  Corporal Ken Dowdle with the Indiana Conservation Officers said, “Sea planes are not that common in our area, but we do have several permitted sea plane bases in northern Indiana. Lake Wawasee, Bass Lake, Lake Maxinkuckee, and Mississinewa Reservoir are just a few of the permitted sea plane bases.”

   Indiana code defines a sea plane base as an area of water specifically designated for the landing and taking off of sea planes.