Coast Guard searching for overdue boaters in Western Lake Erie

CLEVELAND – The U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies are searching Western Lake Erie this morning for three boaters who have reportedly been missing since Sunday night.

Missing are: Roy Counts, Mary Counts and Renee Keys.

The Coast Guard was notified at about 12:30 a.m., Monday, via a 911 call concerning the missing boaters.  It was reported that passengers on a 26-foot recreational vessel with a black and gold hull had not returned to Sheffield Lake, Ohio.

The Coast Guard directed the immediate launch of search crews aboard a 33-foot SPC-LE from Coast Guard Station Marblehead, a 25-foot Response Boat from Coast Guard Station Lorain, a 45-foot Response Boat from Coast Guard Station Cleveland Harbor and an HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from coast Guard Air Station Detroit.

Coast Guard crews are being assisted by a Canadian C-130 search and rescue aircraft from the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Trenton, Ontario.

Float plans are an important resource that can be used to locate boaters who are missing or overdue. Float plans can be as simple as a note placed under your car’s windshield wiper or, much more effective, a conversation with a loved one and are actions that should be completed prior to getting underway. Float plans should explain the intended destination or route and also what time boaters are expected to return. If a boater’s plans change, the float plan should be updated.  This information should be left with someone on shore so, in the event a boater doesn’t return, that person can notify the proper authorities with the vessel description and possible location.

For more information about float plans, and a link to a downloadable form, click here.

Anyone with information regarding the missing boaters should contact the Ninth District Command Center at (216) 902-6117.

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