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Three rescued after treading water in Lake Erie

Three boaters were rescued by a good Samaritan Sunday morning after spending 21 hours treading water in Lake Erie after their fishing vessel capsized near Conneaut, Ohio.

The Coast Guard was contacted at 12:55 p.m. Sunday and informed that four to five hours earlier, three men had been rescued by a good Samaritan, who found them treading water, hanging onto the hull of their capsized 20-foot fishing vessel. The reporting source stated they were suffering from hypothermia and were transported to shore, where EMS took them to a local hospital.

“The boaters involved in this incident are alive today because they did two very smart things — they had their life jackets on and they stayed with their boat,” Michael Baron, recreational boating safety specialist at the 9th Coast Guard District Auxiliary and Recreational Boating Safety Branch, said in a press release on the case.

The good Samaritan was John Spak, who told the local newspaper he was aboard his 20-foot powerboat about noon Sunday when he noticed something odd on the waters of Lake Erie just north of his position.

"I spotted something but I couldn't make out exactly what it was," Spak, of Leckrone, Pa., told the Tribune Chronicle.

Spak's wife, Debbie, handed over his binoculars and as he raised them to his eyes, he realized something wasn't right.

"I saw someone raise their arms and jump in the water," Spak said.

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