Coast Guard searching for missing woman in Lake Erie

CLEVELAND – The U.S. Coast Guard and other local agencies are searching Lake Erie, only a few miles off Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, this morning for a woman who has been missing since Thursday night.

Missing is Emma Nahas, 20 or 21 years old, last seen wearing an orange bathing suit.

The Coast Guard was notified at about 8:30 p.m. by the Cleveland Police Department, who received a 911 call concerning the missing woman. It was reported that passengers on a 24-foot recreational vessel returned to port after boating to find Nahas missing. There had originally been 10 aboard the vessel and they reported last having seen her 2-3 miles north of 55th Street, in downtown Cleveland. Initial reports indicate that she was not wearing a lifejacket.

The Coast Guard directed the immediate launch of search crews aboard a 41-foot utility boat (UTB) from Station Cleveland Harbor and an HH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter from Air Station Detroit. The UTB crew was relieved at 4:47 a.m. by a Station Cleveland Harbor 25-foot response boat-small (RB-S) crew. The RB-S crew was joined by a UTB crew again this morning, and both boat crews continue to search at this time.

The helicopter crew was forced to return to the air station due to reaching crew fatigue limits, but another Dolphin rescue helicopter crew has arrived on scene this morning to search.

Coast Guard crews were assisted last night by crews aboard search boats from the Cleveland Police Department and the Cleveland Fire Department. A boatcrew from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is assisting this morning.

Although federal regulations require that mariners merely maintain personal flotation devices onboard their vessels, the Coast Guard advises that mariners wear lifejackets at all times while underway.

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