On a weekend getaway with his son, an off-duty Murrysville police officer helped rescue several people whose boat capsized at Lake Erie’s Presque Isle.
Officer Rich Keeler and his son, Ryan, intended to go fishing on Lake Erie, but the waves were too high, so they started heading back to shore. That’s when they saw a man floating.
The Keelers told Channel 4 Action News reporter Jennifer Miele that the man had been in the water for two hours when they pulled him to safety.
“Since the waves were so bad that day, there weren’t that many boats out there, so he was kind of lucky,” Ryan Keeler said.
The man had been trying to swim to shore when the Keelers spotted him. His friends — two other men and a woman — were still in the water.
“What had happened was a wave hit their boat, broke the windshield, and a second wave hit the boat and capsized it,” Rich Keeler said.
So the Keelers called 911 for help.
“They pinged my cell phone, and they were able to get coordinates that way,” Rich Keeler said. “Because of the waves, the Coast Guard was still having problems finding exactly where we were, so we had to light a flare.”
The Coast Guard found the other three boaters in rocky waters a half-mile away. Two of them were treated for hypothermia and released.