September 16, 2014

Elyria
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3 men able to swim back to shore after boat takes on water

SHEFFIELD LAKE — Three men were able to make it back to shore safely after their fishing boat began taking on water this morning near Sheffield Lake.

CT photo by Bruce Bishop.

The Sheffield Lake Fire Department, the Coast Guard and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources were dispatched to the city boat ramp, at Lake and Lake Breeze roads, a little before 9 this morning on a report of people in the water.

As rescue squads arrived, the men were swimming back to shore.

Owner Jim Lewis of Sheffield Lake said the men went out fishing in his 18-foot bass boat about 8:30 a.m. and were about 100 yards from shore when the boat developed about a 2-foot by 2-foot hole in its hull. It rapidly began taking on water after that, he said.

Also on board with him were his son-in-law, James Stacy of Perrysburg, and Stacy’s friend, Neal Fifer of McClure.

The three, who all had on life jackets, were cold and wet but didn’t need medical treatment.

A boat is en route to the scene to pull Lewis’ boat, which is about three-fourths of the way submerged, from the water.

Lewis took the incident in stride, saying he plans to go boat shopping today.

He said the boat that sank was an old boat but he’d never had any problems with it in the three years he’s taken it out.