Classmates grieve for missing Port Washington student

PORT WASHINGTON -- Officials resumed their search Monday, September 3rd for a 15-year-old boy missing and presumed drowned in Lake Michigan, off the shores of Port Washington. As of Monday, officials called the search a "recovery mission." Meanwhile, just a few blocks from the lake, students grieved at Port Washington High School -- where Tyler Buczek was set to be a freshman this school year.

Monday evening, officials said Monday would be the last day in the large-scale search effort, though police will patrol the shoreline in the hopes of recovering the body.

School officials opened the school's doors Monday afternoon for those who wanted to talk to counselors and each other.

"We provided support with each other, students and parents and also support from our guidance counselors and school psychiatrists, staff, administration. We're there for each other," Port Washington High School Principal Eric Burke said.

Buczek served as the quarterback for the school's freshman football team. Friends say he was valedictorian for last year's eighth-grade class at Thomas Jefferson Middle School

Students and parents did not want to be interviewed Monday. They said whatever words they could muster in the school's library.

"It's just going through the process of trying to figure out what happened, so there's a lot of talking about questions about that, and just listening to stories about Tyler," one student said.

Burke says the school has a freshman-only first day of school Tuesday, September 4th.

"We'll have the freshmen -- the kids that know Tyler the best here in school and we'll do some things to keep Tyler in the back of our minds, but also do many things as we normally would do, and I'm sure Tyler would want us to do," Burke said.

Buczek was swimming with friends on Sunday, September 2nd when he disappeared just east of the filtration plant in Port Washington.

In a news conference Monday morning, September 3rd, officials say boats, divers and crews from Port Washington, Ozaukee County, Mequon, Thiensville and Cedarburg are scouring the coast for Buczek's body.

"The boats are equipped with a scan sonar device that picks up things on the bottom of the lake.  It was pretty rough for them to differentiate things yesterday just because of the wave activity," Port Washington Fire Chief Mark Mitchell said.

Mitchell says the water can be misleading -- which may explain what happened in this case.

"Our divers can walk maybe 50 to 75 yards out and be maybe waist deep, and that’s basically sand. Then, there’s a drop-off.  I think a lot of these folks get in the water when we hear about these drownings, and they get a false sense of where they are," Mitchell said.

A vigil was planned for Buczek Monday night at 8:00 in Upper Lake Park.

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