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Lake Erie search underway for missing Port Burwell boater: OPP

FILE - A CH-146 Griffon Search and Rescue helicopter (SAR) flies past CFB Trenton in Trenton, Ontario on Monday, June 20, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Lars Hagberg

Rescue crews are continuing to search the waters of Lake Erie for a missing boater who set off from Port Burwell Marina Tuesday afternoon and failed to return.

Ontario Provincial Police say the boater departed from the marina around 2 p.m. in a white-coloured 21-foot Striper with a black-coloured canopy, and was expected to return that night but never did.

Emergency crews were notified around 11:38 p.m. by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) at CFB Trenton, police said.

Members of the JRCC along with the Canadian Coast Guard, U.S. Coast Guard and provincial police searched the waters through the night and resumed searching Wednesday morning, police said.

OPP’s aviation services, marine units, Bayham Fire and Emergency Services, and Elgin County EMS have also been involved in the search efforts.

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In an emailed statement, Maj. Trevor Reid, senior public affairs officer with the One Canadian Air Division of the Canadian Armed Forces, said that aircraft from the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron were taking part in the search, including one Hercules airplane and one Griffon helicopter.

Three OPP boats, a boat from the Port Burwell Fire Department, a Canadian Coast Guard vessel and a coast guard auxiliary vessel were also involved, he said, adding that a helicopter from the U.S. Coast Guard assisted in the search late Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

Weather at the time the boater went missing was good, he said.

An official with the U.S. Coast Guard 9th District in Cleveland said an MH-65 helicopter was dispatched from Air Station Detroit late Tuesday night at the request of the JRCC, and an hour-long search was conducted that turned up no parties in distress.

Police ask anyone with information to contact them at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers.

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