Coast Guard rescues 66-year-old duck hunter near Catawba Island in Lake Erie

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CLEVELAND — Coast Guard crews rescued a 66-year-old man who became lost while duck hunting on Catawba Island, Ohio, Monday evening.

Around 7 p.m., the hunter’s wife reported to the watchstander at Coast Guard Station Marblehead, Ohio, that her husband called her to tell her he was lost. She said his boat got stuck in the mud and he tried to walk out of the marsh toward land. After wading through the muddy marsh water in 12-foot high reeds for several hours, the hunter became wet, disoriented and unable to provide his exact location.

Sector Detroit directed the launch of Coast Guard Station Marblehead’s crew aboard a 20-foot airboat and also diverted a Coast Guard Air Station Detroit crew that was conducting training aboard a Dolphin helicopter. Local emergency response agencies also assisted in the search.

Just after 8:30 p.m. the hunter used a flashlight to signal rescuers, who were able to locate and hoist him.

The aircrew transported him to the Port Clinton Airport where EMS and his family were waiting.

The hunter was wearing waders and a life jacket, along with winter weather clothing. There were no reported injuries.

“Being dressed for cold air temperatures is not the same thing as being prepared for cold water temperatures,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jillian Lamb, the command center chief at Coast Guard Sector Detroit. “Rather than trying to wade through frigid waters, having a marine radio and a personal locator beacon can expedite rescue and avoid making the situation worse.”

The air temperature was 21 degrees, the water temperature was 39 degrees, and the wind speed was 23 mph.

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