Coast Guard crews have suspended their active search this evening for a possible plane crash reported in Lake Erie.
Although crews conducted a thorough search of the area, the Coast Guard never positively confirmed that a plane actually crashed.
"Based on the information received from the reporting sources, we felt compelled to send our crews out to the area to search, as a precaution," said Petty Officer 1st Class Brad Derflinger, a search and rescue controller at the 9th Coast Guard District Command Center. "However, after crews thoroughly searched the area and we contacted all nearby airports and airfields, we have discovered no evidence of a crashed or missing airplane."
As is always the case, if the Coast Guard receives additional information that appears to relate to this case, search and rescue controllers may consider continuing the search.
Search and rescue controllers at Coast Guard Sector Detroit were contacted at 12:43 p.m. by Erie County 911 dispatch, who received two reports of the potential crash. The first source reported he was driving on Route 6 and lost sight of a rapidly descending aircraft, unable to locate it. The second source in the area reportedly saw nothing, but heard two loud bangs.
The Coast Guard began issuing an urgent marine information broadcast at 1:10 p.m. and directed the launched of search and rescue crews. Involved in the search were rescue boatcrews from Coast Guard stations in Marblehead and Lorain, Ohio, and Air Station Detroit.
A Customs and Border Protection response boat crew assisted with the search, and the Erie County Sheriff's Office and the Vermillion Police Department conducted shoreline searches via patrol car.