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LANCASTER MAN ADRIFT IN BOAT OVERNIGHT IS TOWED TO SAFETY

A Lancaster man who was reported missing in his fishing boat on Lake Erie Sunday evening was towed into Port Dover, Ont., Monday morning after another boater found him adrift.

The boater, William Ricotone, 65, was the object of an air and water search by the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard and marine units for several hours over a large stretch of eastern Lake Erie until he turned up at about 9 a.m. Monday. He was in good condition after a night on the lake.

Ricotone was unavailable Monday night, but his wife, Theresa, said his 17-foot boat experienced engine trouble about midafternoon Sunday, and he drifted until a good Samaritan found him at about 8:30 a.m. Monday and towed him in.

Ricotone had left from the Bertie Bay Boat Club, near Fort Erie, Ont., about 6 a.m. Sunday to cross the lake and fish near Dunkirk.

Mrs. Ricotone said she became concerned and began making calls to try to locate him when he had not returned home by 3 p.m. Sunday. When she had heard nothing by Sunday evening, a relative called the U.S. Coast Guard to report him missing.

"It was a lot of fuss about nothing, but I got really concerned," said Mrs. Ricotone. "The rain we were supposed to have we never got. That was another reason I was so worried."

The U.S. Coast Guard reported that the search effort involved a Coast Guard life boat from the Buffalo Station, the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department jet boat, a Coast Guard helicopter from Detroit, a Canadian Coast Guard fixed-wing airplane, helicopter and boat, and a Coast Guard auxiliary fixed-wing plane.

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