Coast Guard, Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources conduct search after empty boat found on Cleveland shoreline

CLEVELAND — Coast Guard crews, along with a boatcrew from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, searched the vicinity of Cleveland Harbor for possible persons in the water Friday evening.

A rescue boatcrew aboard a Coast Guard Station Cleveland Harbor 45-foot Response Boat-Medium and a rescue aircrew aboard a Coast Guard Air Station Detroit MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter are searching the area inside the breakwall after other boaters reported a vessel stuck up on the rocks near Burke Lakefront Airport with no one aboard.

Reporting sources who contacted watchstanders at Station Cleveland Harbor at about 8:30 p.m. stated the 27-foot sport boat was on the rocks, inside the Cleveland Harbor breakwall. It was reported that the vessel’s radio was on, and it was taking on water.

After the Station Cleveland Harbor RB-M crew went aboard the vessel, they confirmed there was no one aboard and took down the boat’s vehicle identification number. Local police attempted to track down the registered owner, James Scott Mol, of Independence, Ohio, finding only his ex-wife.

After securing for the evening, Coast Guard crews are back out Saturday morning and conducting a first light search of Cleveland Harbor for a possible person in the water.

A rescue boatcrew aboard a Coast Guard Station Cleveland Harbor 45-foot Response Boat-Medium and a rescue aircrew aboard a Coast Guard Air Station Detroit MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter arrived on scene at about 6 a.m. and commenced searching the area inside the breakwall.

The rescue helicopter crew has since returned to base after searching for more than an hour and completing two searches with negative results.

Investigation into Mol’s cell phone activity found calls made from a location on shore, near the Flats area of downtown Cleveland just before 1 a.m. Calls made to Mol’s phone, as well as to the person who he called, have not been answered.

The Coast Guard continues to work with the Cleveland Police Department to investigate. ODNR has not been involved in the continued search this morning.

The Coast Guard recommends that mariners always keep their boats’ registration information up to date. Tracking down the owner of a vessel can be critical to obtaining information necessary to find missing or injured boaters.

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