Coast Guard assists disoriented snowmobilers on Lake Erie

d9CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard assisted a father and his teenage daughter back to shore safely after the snowmobilers became disoriented on Lake Erie Saturday evening.

The names of the individuals assisted are not being released by the Coast Guard, and there is no Coast Guard imagery for this case.

At about 5:30 p.m., a watchstander at Coast Guard Station Marblehead, Ohio, responded to a call from the Ottawa County dispatch concerning the disoriented snowmobilers who were traveling on Lake Erie between Put-in-Bay, Ohio, and Catawba Island. A snow squall that moved through the area was the reported reason for becoming disoriented.

The 18-year-old daughter called 911 reporting their situation. After receiving the call for assistance, the watchstander at Station Marblehead contacted Coast Guard Sector Detroit, which issued an urgent marine information broadcast requesting assistance from any mariners in the area. Sector Detroit personnel also directed the launch of a rescue crew, aboard a 20-foot airboat, from Station Marblehead and an aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit, aboard a Dolphin helicopter.

While the rescue crews were en route, the daughter reported to 911 that she and her father found an ice-fishing shanty to use for protection from the weather elements. A cellphone ping was used to determine the exact location of the snowmobilers. The aircrew arrived on scene first and vectored in the rescue crew aboard the airboat. Both individuals were found in good health.

The daughter was transferred back to shore in the airboat while the father followed the airboat back to shore on the snowmobile.

The Coast Guard reminds all ice enthusiasts to be prepared for changing weather conditions. We also encourage everyone who goes out onto the ice to wear a life jacket, and carry a personal locator beacon and a mode of communication.

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