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2 men, dog rescued after boat sinks

U.S. and Canadian rescue crews worked together Sunday to locate two Buffalo-area boaters in Lake Ontario more than 12 hours after their vessel began taking on water.

Corey Willis, 24, of Tonawanda, and Joe Adornetto, 26, of Buffalo, were found six miles off the coast of Port Weller, Ont., at 7:07 a.m. Sunday by a Royal Canadian Air Force helicopter.

The two men, who were found floating in the water with a dog, were treated for mild hypothermia in St. Catharines General Hospital in Ontario. The hospital said Sunday afternoon both men had been discharged.

The search for the two began Saturday night after officials received word that the boaters had departed Lewiston on Saturday afternoon but had not returned. .

One of the men attempted to call 911 from his cellphone at 7 p.m. Saturday after the boat began sinking, but calls back to him went to his voicemail, authorities said.

After contacting the man's cellphone provider, the Coast Guard began searching a general area using a boat crew from the Town of Niagara and an aircrew dispatched from Detroit. But it wasn't until Canadian forces took over air patrol at daybreak that the men were found.

One of the men was wearing a life jacket. The dog, a golden retriever, had been placed in a seat the men were able to detach from the sinking boat.

In a similar incident on Lake Erie, the Coast Guard also consulted with cellphone providers to rescue a man whose engine failed near Cleveland.

"We're thankful to the cellphone company for their assistance, although we always prefer mariners have a marine radio also, so we can maintain communications throughout the situation," said Lt. J.G. Casey Teevan, a search and rescue controller for the Coast Guard's command center in Cleveland.

email: kbargnes@buffnews.com