Missing boaters located near Put in Bay, Ohio

CLEVELAND – The three boaters the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies were searching for in Western Lake Erie this morning have been located at about 11 a.m. today.

Roy Counts, Mary Counts and Renee Keys were located near Put in Bay, Ohio, with no reported injuries. The overdue boaters were able to contact the Coast Guard by cellular phone.

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

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 were 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.

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