Monroe County Sheriff Dale Malone is reporting a missing boater in Lake Erie in Monroe County, Michigan.
On Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at approximately 8:43 pm Monroe County Central Dispatch received a 911 call from a female subject reporting that her eight year old son and her boyfriend were in the water off of Estral Beach and had become separated from their unanchored boat. A nearby boater assisted in pulling the eight year old from the water, but the male subject could not be located. Members of the Monroe County Marine Division and Uniformed Services Division were dispatched the area.
"Lake Erie can always be dangerous. Any time of the year. If the waves kick up, anything could happen," says Dave Millar, Chief of the Estral Beach Fire Department.
Preliminary investigation revealed that a 28 year old female from Waterford, MI, a 36 year old male from Waterford, MI, and two male children ages eight and three, also from Waterford, MI, were abroad their boat in Lake Erie off Estral Beach near the mouth of Swan Creek. The eight year old boy, while wearing a life jacket, jumped into the water but became separated due to the drifting boat. The 36 year old male subject jumped into the water, without a life jacket, to assist the eight year. The man and boy were unable to swim back to their boat and the man began to have trouble swimming.
Another area boat observed the developing situation and responded the area to assist. Once in the area, the second boater was able to pull the eight year from the lake but the 36 year old man could not be located.
Millar says that, because the water is so unpredictable, locating the man will be difficult.
"All we do is we go and we hope," Millar admits.
The Monroe County Dive Team, the Monroe County Aviation Unit, the US Coast Guard, the Wayne County Underwater Search & Recovery Team along with Fire Departments from Berlin Twp, Frenchtown Twp, and Estral Beach conducted search operations for approximately four hours but were unable to locate the missing boater. Search operations were continue in the morning of Thursday, July 4, 2013.
The incident remains under investigated by the Monroe County Sheriff's Uniformed Services Division and the Monroe County Dive Team. Anyone with information is asked to call 734-243-7070.