Search for missing boaters called off for the night; recovery op - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Search for missing boaters called off for the night; recovery operation to begin Friday A.M.

Family, friends waiting for word at Turtle Point Marina Family, friends waiting for word at Turtle Point Marina
Coast Guard offers update Coast Guard offers update
Multiple surface and aviation assets search the water in Lake Erie for two of the four missing people. (Source: Petty Officer 1st Class Phillip Null) Multiple surface and aviation assets search the water in Lake Erie for two of the four missing people. (Source: Petty Officer 1st Class Phillip Null)
Coast Guard boat crews aboard a 25-foot response boat and a 45-foot response boat. (Source: Petty Officer 1st Class Phillip Null) Coast Guard boat crews aboard a 25-foot response boat and a 45-foot response boat. (Source: Petty Officer 1st Class Phillip Null)
(WOIO) -

The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office and the Coast Guard has announced that the search on Lake Erie has been called off and that officials will begin conducting a recovery operation in the morning.

Authorities say the decision was made due to water conditions and the length of time the men have been missing.

Two men and two women, Amy Santus and 17-year old Paige Widmer, went out fishing Wednesday between Green and Rattlesnake Island.

"They did send pictures back to family members of themselves out fishing," says Sheriff Steve Levorchick of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office.

And then family members heard nothing.

The search started at 2 a.m. Thursday after a watchstander at Sector Detroit received a report that a fishing group was overdue on returning home.

Thursday afternoon the Coast Guard recovered the bodies of two of the missing boaters. Both of the women were found to be wearing life jackets.

The missing men, whom are described to be experienced boaters, have not been named. 

Alcohol is not suspected at this time.  

The boat was discovered on Toussaint Reef, approximately five miles northeast of Locust Point. The group's truck and boat trailer were found at the Locust Point boat ramp.

The boat has yet to be examined.

Coast Guard crews from Stations Marblehead and Toledo and Air Station Detroit are receiving assistance from an air asset from Regional Command Center Trenton, Ontario, a dive team from the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department, water search teams from Customs and Border Protection and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and local agencies conducting shoreline searches.

The Coast Guard has also dispatched a fixed-wing search jet, based out of Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, from Air Station Detroit. Toledo Fire/Rescue has provided side-scan sonar, which can detect objects in the water even in low-visibility.

A towing company has been cleared to tow the boat.

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