Rescued fisherman says fellow angler is dead after holding onto - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Rescued fisherman says fellow angler is dead after holding onto friend in Lake Erie for hours

Lester Hill pulled from Lake Erie after disappearing after fishing trip. (Source: Family) Lester Hill pulled from Lake Erie after disappearing after fishing trip. (Source: Family)
The Coast Guard searched overnight for two missing boaters (Source: WOIO) The Coast Guard searched overnight for two missing boaters (Source: WOIO)
The boaters were in a boat similar to the one pictured (Source: WOIO) The boaters were in a boat similar to the one pictured (Source: WOIO)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

One of the two fishermen that went missing Monday night while fishing on Lake Erie -- Larry Love -- is dead, according to the Coast Guard. 

The other fisherman, Lester Hill, was found clinging to the side of his boat. Hill told officials after he was rescued that he held onto his friend for about three hours but had to let him go to save his own life.

Watch Hill's rescue here:

A recovery effort is now underway to find Love's body. 

Love and Hill work for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority

“We offer our deepest condolences to Larry’s wife Betty and their family at this time. This is a tremendous loss felt by the entire RTA family who considered Larry a dear friend, a colleague and a professional," said a statement from the RTA. “We are grateful for all the agencies who assisted with their tireless search and recovery efforts, including the Coast Guard, Cleveland Division of Police, Cleveland Fire Department, Cleveland Metroparks, Lakewood Fire Department, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and our own Transit Police."

Hill, 56, is a transit police officer and has worked with the RTA since 1998. 

Love, 56, was a station attendant and had worked with the RTA since 2003.

“We also pray for the speedy recovery of Officer Lester Hill and thank him for his bravery throughout this ordeal," the statement read. 

According to the Coast Guard, the duo was last seen Monday.

The daughter of one of the missing fishermen called the Coast Guard and said that they did not return to the Edgewater marina Monday night. His vehicle was still parked at the marina, but the boaters did not return or check in. The daughter tried calling her father's phone several times, but the calls went straight to voicemail.

Love and Hill were last seen on a 22-foot white Starcraft boat with green trim. Love is the owner of the boat. 

The Coast Guard launched a response boat, an airplane, and a helicopter to assist with the search. Officers from the Cleveland Police Department, Lakewood Police Department, and Ohio Department of Natural Resources are also assisting with the search.

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