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3 boaters safe after Coast Guard searches Lake Erie

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Three boaters reported as missing were found safe and alive Monday morning in Lake Erie, just hours after the U.S. Coast Guard began a search-and-rescue mission.

The men were found at about 8:45 a.m., said Lauren Jorgensen, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Coast Guard. The group shot off a flare, which alerted the Coast Guard to their presence. A helicopter and boat crew located them soon after on a peninsula near Luna Pier, Jorgensen said.

Officials took the trio to Toledo Harbor, where the men reported being cold but refused medical attention as they wait to be picked up by loved ones.

The U.S. Coast Guard had searched western Lake Erie for the three men, who left to go fishing from near the Michigan-Ohio border and didn’t return as expected.

The search for the boaters began early Monday near Lost Peninsula Marina, which is located in Monroe County’s Erie Township. The search included the waters of Maumee Bay.

The Coast Guard says they were told that the three went fishing on Sunday afternoon and were in contact with family via cellphone on Sunday evening, but didn’t return home as expected. Jorgensen said the group’s boat became disabled. They stayed on it overnight.

“They did the right thing there,” Jorgensen said. “We’d rather you be on a boat and dry than in the water and wet.”

Local police and fire crews assisted in the successful search.

The three recovered men were the second group that went missing on local waters this weekend.

On Sunday night, a father-son duo from Jackson County, who’d come to Lake St. Clair Metropark to start duck hunting, were found dead in Canadian waters after a search by the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office Marine Team and the U.S. and Canadian coast guards. The two had come up Saturday morning and were expected back that night, but never returned.

Associated Press contributed.