Buffalo’s Coast Guard calls off search, believing boater made it to shore - The Buffalo News

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Buffalo’s Coast Guard calls off search, believing boater made it to shore

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Buffalo sector Tuesday conducted an eight-hour search for a man who they believe made it to shore safely after calling in that he was in distress in the Buffalo Harbor.

The Coast Guard reported that it believes he may have made it to shore but failed to notify the agencies that had been searching for him.

The man called the Buffalo office at 2:15 a.m. from his 16-foot aluminum boat, reporting he was crashing into waves. He had said he was in the vicinity of the Buffalo Harbor, about 100 yards away from shore. He was by himself and had been fishing, according to the Buffalo office.

The Coast Guard launched a rescue boat from its station and called in a boat from the Hamburg Police Department and a rescue helicopter from Detroit and searched continuously until about 10 a.m., according to Brian Hillman of Coast Guard Station Buffalo.

The man had told the Buffalo office that he would call when he returned to shore safely.

“He said he’d call us in about five minutes, and he never called,” Hillman said. “When we launched our boat out, it took us about 10 minutes to get there. We might’ve missed him.”

There are no signs of debris, a vessel or distress around the Buffalo Harbor, Hillman said.

The team did find one submerged boat, but it turned out to be a previously charted shipwreck that had been there a long time, according to Hillman.

“Our assumption is that he made it in,” Hillman said. “But we just can’t confirm that.”

email: lkhoury@buffnews.com

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