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5 boaters found clinging to a cooler in Lake Erie are rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter crew

In this image taken from video, a basket is lifted with a person in it on Saturday. The helicopter from the Coast Guard air station in Detroit rescued five people who were clinging to a cooler in Lake Erie waters about 10 miles off Ashtabula, Ohio after their 22-foot boat had been swamped by a wave, officials said. U.S. Coast Guard via AP

ASHTABULA, Ohio — The Coast Guard came to the rescue of five people who were clinging to a cooler in Lake Erie after their boat was swamped by a wave far off the Ohio coast, authorities said.

The 22-foot boat was about 10 miles off the coast of Ashtabula on Saturday when it was hit, a Coast Guard spokesman said. Someone called 911 for help, and stayed in contact with rescuers as a Coast Guard helicopter crew from the Air Station in Detroit diverted from another Lake Erie rescue to reach them.

The helicopter crew soon hoisted up the five victims, who were not injured, and took them to Northeast Ohio Regional Airport in Jefferson, Ohio. Officials noted that all five were wearing life jackets, emphasizing the need for boaters to always wear one.

The helicopter crew then refueled and returned to the initial rescue call in the water off the Perry nuclear power plant in North Perry, Ohio. Responders eventually rescued two people who were wearing life jackets and also pulled another person from the water who later died.

Authorities also launched a search for a fourth person who could not be located, but that search was suspended late Saturday.

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