Search Suspended: Still No Sign of Missing Boaters

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TURTLE POINT MARINA, Ohio -- Two male boaters are still missing after a boating accident on Lake Erie.

At 4 p.m. on Friday, the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office and the Coast Guard suspended their search indefinitely.

ODNR will be back out at 8 a.m. on Saturday to continue searching.

"We've examined the boat at this point. There was no structural damage, so we can rule out a collision. Either something was submerged or something above the water may have caused the accident. All the safety gear was on the boat. There was a marine radio on board and extra life jackets," said Chad German, with the ODNR Division of Watercraft Friday morning.

Thursday, rescue crews recovered the bodies of Amy Santus, 33, of Perrysburg, which is south of Toledo, and Paige Widmer, 17, who was visiting from South Carolina.

On Wednesday, the four left for their fishing expedition at the Turtle Point Marina near Oak Harbor.

They group sailed into Lake Erie on a 21-foot boat. When they did not return, someone called authorities.

"The boat was swamped. It was found bow up. So, we know it did not take on water unexpectedly," said German.

Authorities say the four were likely on their way in from their fishing trip.

"The fishing gear was secured on the boat. There was a northeast breeze. It was 2 to 4 foot waves, the water was choppy, but nothing this type of boat couldn't operate in. The owner of the boat was well versed in this area and fishing Lake Erie. He fished many tournaments, an avid angler," said German.

ODNR says the current weather conditions are helping them in the search.

"It's ideal. The water is fairly calm and there more boaters out here. The sun helps, too," said German.

Investigators say both women found were wearing life jackets but the water temperature was 40 degrees or less - and that means hypothermia can set in quickly.

Read more on the story, here.

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