Coast Guard rescue after snowmobile escapade on Lake Erie

Coast Guard rescue after snowmobile escapade on Lake Erie

MARBLEHEAD, OH (WOIO) - The Coast Guard assisted a father and his teenage daughter back to shore safely after the snowmobilers became disoriented on Lake Erie Saturday evening.

At about 5:30 p.m., a watchstander at Coast Guard Station Marblehead, Ohio, responded to a call from the Ottawa County dispatch concerning the pair who were traveling on Lake Erie between Put-in-Bay, Ohio, and Catawba Island.

A snow squall was reportedly the reason why they became disoriented.

The 18-year-old daughter called 911 for assistance. After receiving the call the watchstander contacted Coast Guard Sector Detroit, which issued an urgent marine information broadcast requesting help from any mariners in the area.

Sector Detroit personnel also directed the launch of a rescue crew, aboard a 20-foot airboat, from Station Marblehead and an aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit, aboard a Dolphin helicopter.

While the rescue crews were en route, the daughter reported to 911 that she and her father found an ice-fishing shanty to use for protection from the weather elements.

A cellphone ping was used to determine their exact location.

The aircrew was first to arrive on scene.  Both father and daughter were found in good health. 

The daughter was transferred back to shore in the airboat while the father followed the airboat back to shore on the snowmobile.

The Coast Guard reminds all ice enthusiasts that in addition to being prepared for changing weather, it's also a good idea to wear a life jacket and carry a personal locator beacon as well as a mode of communication.

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