SOUTH BASS ISLAND, Ohio (WWJ) – Authorities say the bodies of two of four missing boaters in western Lake Erie have been recovered off the Ohio shoreline.

Officials say they recovered the bodies of two females Thursday near Put-In-Bay. Both were wearing life jackets.

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Lt. Jillian Lamb, sector Detroit command center chief, said they were contacted by family members around 2 a.m. Thursday after four people failed to return from fishing aboard a 21-foot Tracker Boat near South Bass Island the day before.

“They were out fishing,” Lamb told WWJ’s Marie Osborne. “Their vehicle was parked at Locust Point and they departed from there and were fishing in the vicinity of Rattle Snake Island. They did make contact with some family and said that they had completed fishing and they were headed back in, but they were not heard from again.”

At that point, the Coast Guard launched a large-scale cooperative search, with 25-foot and 45-foot response boats and helicopters provided by U.S. and Canadian resources.

The Coast Guard did eventually find the boat, which had run aground on a reef, about 5 miles off the Ohio shoreline, northeast of Locust Point.

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Lamb said when the fishermen disappeared, they were up against usual weather conditions for this time of year.

“The temperatures were cold, approximately 34 degrees, with cold water temps in the low to mid 40s. There were some small craft advisories, but no other significant weather,” Lamb said.

The names and hometowns of the female whose body was found and the other fishermen were not immediately released.

“I believe they’re from Ohio, but I’ll have to confirm that. We’re working with their families at this time,” Lamb said.

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