Coast Guard searching for missing boater in Lake Erie off Vermilion, Ohio

Coast Guard Station Marblehead 45-foot Response Boat-Medium file photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Phillip Null)

Coast Guard Station Marblehead 45-foot Response Boat-Medium file photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Phillip Null)

CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard, along with local authorities, is currently searching for a missing boater off of Vermilion, Ohio.

Watchstanders in Coast Guard Sector Detroit Command Center received a call from local Erie County Sheriffs about 9 p.m., Friday, stating that an unmanned boat, a 23-foot Sea Ray, had washed up on shore near Cranberry Creek.

The Command Center issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast and launched rescue crews from Coast Guard Stations Marblehead and Lorain, and an aircrew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit. Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and local Huron Fire and Police Departments are also involved in the search and investigation.

The boat was towed to Cranberry Creek by a good Samaritan and then by local Huron Fire Department. Local authorities discovered signs of recent occupancy, including a cell phone, a wallet and a hand-held GPS fish-finder which was still operating.

Family members who were contacted indicated the missing person, described as a 66 year-old Caucasian man, 5 feet 7 inches weighing approximately 220 pounds, went out fishing Friday morning and was last heard from about 1 p.m. He was believed to have been wearing a tee shirt and short pants. A friend of the missing man indicated that he liked to fish about one to two miles offshore, and about one mile east or west of Vermilion.

Waves on Lake Erie were reported to be 4 to 5 feet Friday.

Anyone with information about the missing man is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Detroit Command Center at 313-568-9560.

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