Coast Guard leads international effort in search for overdue fishermen in Lake Erie

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CLEVELAND — U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard crews continue to search for two people in the water in Lake Erie, Thursday, after two bodies were recovered and a boat was found five miles northeast of Locust Point, Ohio.

Both recovered people were wearing life jackets.

The Coast Guard has also dispatched a fixed-wing search jet, based out of Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, from Air Station Detroit. Toledo Fire/Rescue has provided side-scan sonar, which can detect objects in the water even in low-visibility.

The search commenced at 2 a.m. after a watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Detroit received a report that a fishing group was overdue on returning home.

Multiple surface and aviation assets search the water in Lake Erie for four people who were reported overdue, April 17, 2014.  The Coast Guard, the Canadian Coast Guard and local agencies are searching for four boaters reported overdue.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Phillip Null

Multiple surface and aviation assets search the water in Lake Erie for four people who were reported overdue, April 17, 2014. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Phillip Null

Initially, crews from Coast Guard Station Toledo, Ohio, and Coast Guard Station Marblehead, Ohio, were searching with 25-foot and 45-foot response boats, as well as an aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit aboard a Dolphin rescue helicopter.

“This is a large-scale cooperative search, harnessing Coast Guard, federal, local, and Canadian resources,” said Cmdr. Austin Ives, Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator at Coast Guard Sector Detroit.

The boat was discovered on Toussaint Reef, approximately five miles northeast of Locust Point. The group’s truck and boat trailer were found at the Locust Point boat ramp.

Coast Guard crews from Stations Marblehead and Toledo and Air Station Detroit continue to receive assistance from an air asset from Regional Command Center Trenton, Ontario, a dive team from the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department, water search teams from Customs and Border Protection and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and local agencies conducting shoreline searches.

Combined, crews have searched 200 square nautical miles of the lake so far.

Coast Guard air crews are flying an additional helicopter to Air Station Detroit from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich., to maintain the Coast Guard’s capacity to respond to emergencies.

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