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UPDATE: No evidence four-wheeler went through ice, Coast Guard says

Andy Ouriel • Dec 19, 2010 at 6:41 PM

Authorities were unable to find any evidence of an all-terrain vehicle after receiving a report one had gone through the ice.

A helicopter and ice rescue team searched the area looking for evidence of any tracks or vehicle, said Petty Officer Michael Power from the Marblehead post of the U.S. Coast Guard. They were unable to find any tracks in the snow-covered ice.

"We treat every case, no matter what it is, as distress until proven otherwise," Power said. "If we receive a call about the possibililty someone dropped the ice, we will exhaust all measures to determine whether or not it happened."

Sandusky police and firefighters, along with members of the U.S. Coast Guard, searched Sandusky Bay Saturday night after receiving a report an all-terrain vehicle had gone through the ice.

But as of 10 p.m. Saturday, searchers were unable to determine if anyone had, in fact, fallen through the ice — or whether the caller had actually seen the lights of a ship in the bay.

A patron at Damon’s Grill at Battery Park reported seeing a four-wheel vehicle disappear and he thought it went through the ice, according to Lt. Robert Vanscoy of the Sandusky Police Department.

Local authorities first received the call at 7:30 p.m. and contacted the U.S. Coast Guard shortly thereafter.

Six Coast Guardsmen met at Battery Park and walked around the perimeter of the pier.

Meanwhile, the Sandusky Fire Department dive team and others searched the area with thermal imagers trying to locate the vehicle or anyone in trouble.

Patrollers didn’t spot tire tracks or patterns a vehicle would make on ice.

Shortly thereafter, crews drove to Cedar Point for better vantage points.

At 10 p.m., they still couldn’t find the vehicle and local police and firefighters ended their part of the search. The Coast Guard continued searching, with the help of a helicopter that arrived overhead at about 9:30 p.m.

Some searchers think the caller might have actually seen the lights of an icebreaker which was operating in the bay at the time, said Cpt. Jeff Green of the Sandusky Fire Department.

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