Coast Guard recovers bodies of three men from overturned skiff

CLEVELAND – Three men died after their 18-21-foot skiff capsized approximately 8 miles offshore Conneaut, Ohio Thursday evening.

Doyle Broomfield, 83, of Youngstown, Ohio; Nathaniel Jackson, 74, Youngstown, Ohio; Vincent Dale Mack, 52, Youngstown, Ohio were recovered by crews from U.S. Coast Guard Stations Erie and Ashtabula at approximately 8:50 p.m. Thursday after a four-hour, 97-square-mile search involving rescue units from the United States and Canada.

All three men were unconscious and not breathing upon transfer to Emergency Medical Services on shore in Conneaut. The Ashtabula County Coroner’s Office pronounced the men dead on arrival.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources conducted next-of-kin notification.

A Station Ashtabula 33-foot boat crew and a 47-foot motor lifeboat crew from Station Erie conducted a square pattern (“Expanding Square”) search around the boat. A square pattern involves moving away from the probable location of the distressed person equally in all directions.

An Air Station Detroit HH-65 rescue helicopter crew assisted the stations with aerial searches and vectoring coordinates.

Sector Buffalo and Canadian authorities received a distress call on channel 16 from one of the three on board the skiff at approximately 3:45 p.m. Thursday. However, the transmission was garbled and did not contain any information on the mens’ position.

Based on this initial information, the Coast Guard and Canadian authorities began searching in the vicinity of Turkey Point in Canada.

Approximately one hour later, Erie County emergency dispatch received a 911 call from the man on the skiff and relayed the call to Station Erie.

Rescuers were able to trace the cell phone call to a position near Turkey Creek in Conneaut.

Rescue units converged on the new position and Station Erie crewmembers were first to arrive on the scene approximately four hours after the intial radio call for help.

“Our hearts go out to the families who lost loved ones in this tragedy,” said Lt. Dave French, External Affairs Officer for the Ninth Coast Guard District. “The Coast Guard would like to remind boaters to file a float plan or tell someone where they are going prior to departing for a day on the Great Lakes.”

The Coast Guard worked closely with the Canadian Rescue Coordination Center Trenton and the Youngstown Police Dept. to locate and identify the men.

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