Coast Guard locates unmanned canoe off South Haven

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CHICAGO — The Coast Guard suspended search efforts Saturday night after locating an unmanned canoe adrift near South Pier off South Haven, Michigan and determining there were no signs of distress.

The 14-foot canoe was located by a response crew from Coast Guard Station St. Joseph at about 8:45 p.m. local time, approximately two and one-half miles west of South Haven.

The canoe had expired registration numbers, and research by personnel at the Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan Command Center to determine the owner of the canoe produced negative results. There were also no reports of missing or overdue persons in the area.

Coast Guard suspended its efforts at 10:18 p.m. local time. The response crew towed the canoe back to Station St. Joseph.

A Watchstander at the Sector Lake Michigan Command Center, located in Milwaukee, received a report from a concerned citizen at approximately 4:30 p.m. EST Saturday, reporting what appeared to be an unmanned canoe adrift about 300 yards off of South Pier.

The Watchstander notified St. Joseph to launch a rescue crew aboard a 25-foot response boat, and also issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast asking other mariners in the area to keep a watch and report any sighting of a possible canoe or kayak.

A rescue crew from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City was also requested to launch but was unable to due to hazardous weather conditions.

Authorities from the South Haven Police Department arrived shoreside near the area within minutes of the report and were able to determine, by use of binoculars, a high probability that the object was a canoe.

The crew from Station St. Joseph arrived on scene at about 5:30 p.m. to begin their search efforts.

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