Coast Guard ends search for missing personal watercraft operator

Coast Guard District 9 NewsCLEVELAND — Coast Guard crews have suspended their search for a missing personal watercraft operator in Lake Michigan.

Watchstanders at the 9th Coast Guard District Command Center were notified Sunday at 4 a.m. EDT that the man had left Lake Macatawa for Lake Michigan Saturday morning, but had not returned.

Search and rescue controllers at Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan, in Milwaukee, directed the launch of a rescue boatcrew aboard a 47-foot Motor Life Boat from Coast Guard Station Grand Haven, Mich.

A Coast Guard Air Station Detroit aircrew aboard an MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter also searched.

Assisting in the search this morning was an aircrew aboard a Canadian Air Force C-130 aircraft from Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Trenton, Ontario.

The Allegan County Sheriff’s Department and other local agencies searched the shorelines.

Crews found a helmet that was identified by family as belonging to the missing man, as well as some debris that seems to be from his personal watercraft.

The search area extended from Holland, Mich., south to St. Joseph, Mich., and all associated waterways connected to Lake Michigan.

The Coast Guard suspends a search and rescue case with extremely great care and deliberation. After a probable search area is saturated several times with a maximum number of assets, resources and crew effort, and a person missing is still not located, a decision is made to suspend a case.

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