Dramatic Lake Erie rescue caught on camera

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Instead of going out on their boat Sunday, one local couple opted for a ride on a ferry. Shortly after that boat took off, the pair found themselves headed for a rescue.

Mike Pettrey and his girlfriend Paige Hope were originally planning to go from Mentor to Put-in-Bay on Sunday. They opted to use the Miller Ferry, as the lake was too rough.

Because another boat had taken on water, Pettrey and Hope found themselves in the middle of a rescue mission.

The ferry came across passengers in the water, rising with the large waves.

"It truly was a helpless situation," Pettrey said. "There's nothing you could do. The ferry is so big that they couldn't get too close."

The ferry captain did what he could until the Coast Guard could help.

"We maneuvered the vessel to be able to get in a proper position to hold it and stay with the people in distress," said Capt. Brian Woischke, of Miller Boatline.

Pettrey said the boat went completely under as soon as the Coast Guard arrived. Thankfully, all of the people on-board made it to safety.

Pettrey couldn't help but think that could have been them.

"We were so grateful that we had turned around. We must have said it 100 times," Pettrey said.

Throughout the Great Lakes, the Coast Guard saved 34 people this past weekend, assisting in another 114 rescues. Locally, they saved 17 people.

Copyright 2017 WOIO. All rights reserved.