Hope dims for safe return of missing Lake Erie boaters, ODNR plans to pick up search on Tuesday

Boaters still missing after disappearing near Geneva-on-the-Lake

MADISON, Ohio (WOIO) - The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has picked up the search for two missing boaters after the U.S. Coast Guard suspended the search near Geneva-on-the-Lake.

The boaters have been identified by Coast Guard officials as 38-year-old Cory Althar and 19-year-old James Wells.

Authorities said the boat was launched from the Geneva Marina around 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Coast Guard officials said they departed in a 15-foot skiff and did not return before dark that night as scheduled.

“It’s just heartbreaking," said Amy Williams, who lives nearby and saw the crews. “I’m sure they knew how to swim, you just never know with Lake Erie, it can be very dangerous and very scary,” she said.

Watchstanders from Coast Guard Sector Buffalo received radio calls from multiple people reporting they heard possible calls for help at about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, according to the report.

The Coast Guard said a report for two people in the water also came in around that time.

Coast Guard officials said search-and-rescue personnel searched for more than 20 hours and covered a combined 942 square-nautical miles.

According to the report, the helicopter crew located a capsized vessel matching the description of the skiff at about 1:40 a.m. on Sunday.

Life jackets and other debris were spotted in the search area approximately five hours later, the Coast Guard officials said.

ODNR officials tell 19 News that crews will resume their search Tuesday morning, weather permitting.

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