Rescue teams search for missing woman in Lake Erie

Local News

The search continues today for a woman who purportedly fell from a boat in Lake Erie on Sunday.

The Coast Guard says they have two boats in the water today, as well as assistance in the air from Air Station Detroit, New York State Dive Team and local fire departments.

Officials said she was wearing a Hawaiian print swimsuit. During search efforts, she was described as a 52-year-old woman and about 5 feet 4 inches tall, but the U.S. Coast Guard did not confirm her age or identity. 

U.S. Coast Guard officials said the woman was in a boat with her husband about 2.5 miles north of the Presque Isle Lighthouse. The man reportedly told law enforcement that his wife had become ill.  According to officials, sometime after 1 p.m., the man turned around to discover the woman missing.  By 2 p.m., Lake City and West Lake fire departments joined the search upon request of the U.S. Coast Guard. 

In the following hours, numerous agencies and departments joined the search, including Presque Isle Park Rangers, Pennsylvania State Police, Erie County Sheriff’s Office Scuba Team, and water rescue teams from multiple fire departments.

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter was flown from Detroit to Erie to aid the search, and the Canadian Armed Forces supplied a C-130 Hercules military plane.

“We immediately commenced search efforts in the location that was given. We got ahold of police and fire departments; and agencies that were assisting are too numerous to list,” said U.S. Coast Guard Chief Daniel Heitzer of Station Erie.

The search expanded and emergency crews searched the shoreline and adjacent waters as far east as North East.

Heitzer told us, “Obviously, local fire departments and police departments are rather limited in their abilities to sustain a search. Coast Guard however, this is what we do. So, we’re able to sustain this search and we’ll continue to search for the foreseeable future.”

Officials are not releasing her name because they’re hopeful they will find her and want to keep the family up to date.  They are asking if anyone has any information that would help in the search to reach out to the Coast Guard Station Erie or their local police and fire departments.
U.S. Coast Guard Station Erie:  814-838-2097.
Please take note that the congestion of cars and people at the Penninsula made it difficult for emergency vehicles in yesterday’s emergency situation to get back to the beaches.  The Millcreek Police Department says it’s the law for traffic in both directions on any type of road, whether it’s a state route, local road or at Presque Isle to move to the right as soon as possible for emergency vehicles of any kind.
Yesterday, drivers had a hard time clearing to one side of the road when the ambulance tried to get through the crowd; making it difficult for crews to respond to the scene quickly.
Anthony Chimera, of Millcreek Police Department Traffic Division, said, “Any kind of emergency vehicle, depending on the type of call they’re going to, lots of times minutes and seconds matter. So it’s very important that the general public try to yield to these vehicles so they can get there in a timely manner.”
Chimera really wants to iterate traffic on both sides of the road must move for emergency vehicles in case the emergency vehicle needs to go into the lane of on-coming traffic.

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