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Coast Guard searches for napping boy

JULY 15 - Coast Guard officials and a number of volunteers spent nearly two hours Saturday searching Lake Erie near Sandusky, Ohio, for a 4-year-old boy who turned out to be napping under blankets aboard his family’s 35-foot Egg Harbor cabin cruiser.

Friends and relatives of Eric Lile screamed with relief, a news report says, when the boy emerged from the boat’s cabin unharmed. It was feared that he had fallen overboard without a PFD.

Two Coast Guard helicopters, an Ohio Department of Natural Resources dive team, local authorities and between 50 and 60 private boats searched an area between Catawba and Kelleys islands for the boy. The boy’s uncle, according to the report, said family members had searched the boat but were unable to find the boy.

“This situation could have potentially been much worse than it was, especially since he wasn’t wearing a life jacket,” says Coast Guard Petty Officer Matthew Schofield. “We were very glad it turned out the way it did.”

Jason Fell