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Published: Friday, 2/18/2011 - Updated: 4 years ago

Coast Guard suspends search for ATV on Lake Erie

PUT-IN-BAY, Ohio — The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search late Friday of Lake Erie between Rattlesnake and South Bass islands for an all-terrain vehicle and its crew that might have gone through the ice.

A Coast Guard Detroit Sector helicopter searched from above for nearly two hours Friday night, while below, air boats from the islands checked the area where the vehicle was last seen. The helicopter crew, aided by night vision goggles and bright moonlight, saw no obvious holes in the ice or signs of distress, said Lt. Justin Westmiller, sector public affairs officer.

The search was suspended before 10 p.m. By 10:45 p.m., the Coast Guard decided not to resume the search — pending reports that anyone was missing. There were no such reports late Friday.

Authorities were alerted around 8 p.m. when someone on Put-In-Bay reported seeing an ATV go through the ice. While significant ice remains around the islands, Lieutenant Westmiller said, there is open water near the south shore of Lake Erie. Windy conditions kept the Coast Guard Marblehead Station from launching its rescue vessel.

About 7 p.m. Friday, three people walked to Put-in-Bay after their ATV and trailer went through the ice near Rattlesnake Island, Ottawa County sheriff’s deputies said.

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