Coast Guard rescues 3 overdue fishermen in Lake Erie

Chief Petty Officer Adam Kane, Petty Officer 1st Class Josh Lucio and Lt. Cmdr. Robert Berry stand with men rescued from a disabled fishing vessel Oct. 24, 2016, in Toledo, Ohio. The men were rescued after being reported as overdue the night before. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Station Toledo)

Chief Petty Officer Adam Kane, Petty Officer 1st Class Josh Lucio and Lt. Cmdr. Robert Berry stand with men rescued from a disabled fishing vessel Oct. 24, 2016, in Toledo, Ohio.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Station Toledo)

TOLEDO, Ohio — The Coast Guard rescued three men from western Lake Erie Monday after they were reported overdue from a fishing trip Sunday evening.

The men’s names are John Coates, Jesse Perez and Ryan Root.

Shortly after midnight, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Detroit were notified of an overdue vessel with three people on board. The men had reportedly departed the Bi-State Marina around 2:30 p.m. Sunday and were last heard from at 5:30 p.m.

Sector Detroit issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched a rescue crew from Coast Guard Station Toledo and two helicopter crews – one from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit and one from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Michigan. A vessel from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and several other local agency vessels, searching more than 962 square miles of Lake Erie, bolstered search efforts.

After more than eight hours of searching, a Coast Guard helicopter located the men when they deployed a distress flare when hearing sounds of the helicopter in the distance. The flare was sighted and reported by a good Samaritan off Luna Pier, Michigan.

The boat’s outboard motor propeller had become entangled in fishing nets, stranding it less than one mile off shore.  A boat crew from Coast Guard Station Toledo recovered the men and brought them ashore to Toledo Beach Marina.

There were no reported injuries and the men refused medical attention.

The Coast Guard attributes much of this successful rescue to the availability of rescue gear, specifically distress flares, and the boaters’ decision to stay with their vessel. With cooler fall temperatures throughout Michigan and Ohio, fisherman and hunters are encouraged to have proper safety equipment, rescue gear, a VHF radio, and to file a float plan with family if they plan to get underway on the Great Lakes.

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