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Published: Friday, 2/23/2007

2 Monroe fishermen rescued from Lake Erie


LASALLE, Mich. Two Monroe men were rescued yesterday by the Toledo Cost Guard after the ice shelf they were fishing on became disconnected from land, Coast Guard officials said.

John Pillarelli, 49, and Kurt Cawood, 40, were ice fishing about a mile and half southeast of Bolles Harbor, near LaSalle. It was Mr. Pillarelli s birthday.

The west wind blew the ice shelf east and disconnected it from land and they had no way to get back, said Boatswain s Mate John Stevens, of the Toledo Coast Guard.

The Toledo station received a call about 10 a.m. from someone who saw the men out on the ice. A helicopter from the Detroit Coast Guard station spotted the men at 10:10 a.m. and its crew determined the men should be brought ashore.

They were just waving back to the [helicopter crew] to say Hi and didn t seem to realize what was happening or that they were in danger, said Senior Chief Jeremiah Roberts, of the Detroit Coast Guard.

Toledo Coast Guard personnel, who were near Bolles Harbor doing ice-rescue training, went out on a 14-foot ice skiff, a shallow-bottom boat for open-water rescue, and brought the two fishermen ashore about 10:45 a.m.

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