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Watch: 5 Boaters Clinging to Cooler in Lake Erie Rescued by Helicopter

Watch: 5 Boaters Clinging to Cooler in Lake Erie Rescued by Helicopter

ASHTABULA, Ohio (AP) — The Coast Guard responded to the aid of five people clinging to a cooler in Lake Erie after their boat was swamped by a wave far from the Ohio coast, authorities said.

The 22-foot boat was about 10 miles off the coast of Ashtabula on Saturday when it was struck, a Coast Guard spokesman said. Someone called 911 for help and stayed in contact with rescuers while a Coast Guard helicopter crew from the Detroit Air Station diverted from another Lake Erie rescue to reach them.


The helicopter crew quickly lifted the five victims, who were not injured, and took them to Northeast Ohio Regional Airport in Jefferson, Ohio. Officials noted that all five were wearing life jackets, emphasizing that boaters should always wear one.

The helicopter crew then refueled and returned to the initial rescue call in the water at the Perry Nuclear Power Plant in North Perry, Ohio. Rescuers eventually rescued two people wearing life jackets and pulled another person from the water who later died.

Authorities also launched a search for a fourth person, who was nowhere to be found. However, the search was called off on Saturday evening.