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Deputies rescue man from sinking watercraft, then give him a ticket

A sinking personal watercraft prompted the rescue Saturday of a Lancaster man by the Erie County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit, who issued a ticket for operating the vessel without a safety certificate.

Marine Unit Deputies Sgt. Richard Lauricella and Christopher Soluri responded to the call at 4:45 p.m. Saturday near the Lake Erie Water Intake, just before the water enters the Niagara River.

By the time they arrived, only the bow of the watercraft was visible above the waterline, deputies said.

Scott MacDonald, identified by deputies as the operator of the vessel, was pulled to safety. His teenage passenger had already been rescued by a civilian boater who had stopped to offer assistance.

The vessel’s sinking, deputies determined, was triggered when the watercraft’s drain plug became dislodged.