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3 missing fishermen found safe on Lake Erie

Officials searched more than 962 square miles of Lake Erie

TOLEDO, Ohio – Three missing fishermen were rescued by the Coast Guard Monday after they were late returning from a fishing trip Sunday evening.

Shortly after midnight, authorities learned that John Coates, Jesse Perez and Ryan Root  had reportedly left the Bi-State Marina around 2:30 p.m. Sunday and hadn't returned. They were last heard from at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Officials launched a rescue crew from Toledo, Ohio and two helicopters, one from Air Station Detroit and one from Air Station Traverse City. Officials searched more than 962 square miles of Lake Erie.

After more than eight hours of searching, a Coast Guard helicopter found the fishermen when the men deployed a distress flare. The flare was seen by a person off of Luna Pier, Michigan.

Officials said the boat's outboard motor propeller had gotten tangled in fishing nets, stranding it less than one mile off short from Coast Guard Station Toledo.

There were no reported injuries and the men refused medical attention.

You can watch Paula Tutman's story from Local 4 News at 4 in the video posted above.

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