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Coast Guard Searching For 3 Missing Boaters Near Michigan-Ohio Border

DETROIT (WWJ) - The Coast Guard is searching Monday for three missing boaters near the Michigan-Ohio border. Coast Guard Lt. Spencer McFarland says they were called around midnight about an overdue boat that was last seen in Maumee Bay.

"We received a report that three people were out fishing near Maumee, Toledo area - they left at around 2 p.m. yesterday - they last talked on their cell phone to their family at 5:30 p.m. and we have not heard from them since," said McFarland.

John Coates, Jesse Perez, and Ryan Root are all 21-years-old and all from the Toledo area. They went onto Maumee Bay yesterday afternoon and haven't been heard from since.

Shawn Adams is among the volunteers. He was out on the water with Coates just two days ago. Adams describes the boat his friends are in.

"It was about a 16-18 foot fiberglass boat," said Adams. "White bottom and above the rails -- all red."

One of Adams' friends thinks he saw the group where the Maumee River feeds into Maumee Bay, about 30 minutes after the group last had contact with their families.

"According to his mother, she spoke to him at 5:30 and my friend said he saw them on Grassy Island at 6 o'clock - about a half-hour after that," he said.

Adams says while Lake Erie weather was nice yesterday, he cautions that it can turn dangerous in the blink of an eye.

The boat is thought to have been launched from a dock on the Michigan side of the border. Crews are searching both Maumee Bay and western Lake Erie, adding that daybreak will greatly help in their search effort.

Local police, fire, and the DNR are also assisting in the search.

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