One man was rescued two times Saturday in two different boats on Lake Erie off Fort Erie, Ont..
Fort Erie Fire Chief Larry Coplen said the first rescue occurred about 2:30 p.m., when swimmers near Crystal Beach, Ont., were seen pushing a disabled boat that had drifted into a cove. The boat’s engine wouldn’t start and it had to be coaxed back toward shore.
The same man went out again about 7 p.m., in a smaller speedboat that also encounteredproblems. Coplen said the when man removed the key from the ignition after to shut down the engine, he accidentally dropped the key into the lake.
It was the 11th boat rescue this summer, Coplen said, but the first serving up these unusual circumstances.
“Very, very strange,” Coplen said.
In the first rescue, everything was fairly standard, with the Fire Department manning two boats to return the boat to shore.
The second one went similarly, except three people in the man’s party struggled while trying to swim to shore and had to be rescued..
Coplen said Lake Erie was a little choppier than usual Saturday – a condition that got worse as the day progressed, eventually elevating to a maritime warning.
The fire chief also noted it has been busier than usual thus far this summer in terms of boat rescues.