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SOS call draws agencies to river Sunday night; Nothing found

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MASSENA - Massena Rescue was dispatched to a reported ship in distress “mayday” call on Sunday night in the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Upon arrival Massena Rescue’s dive team deployed the rescue boat into the water and began search and rescue operations at the last known coordinates of the vessel.

According to U.S. Coast Guard Officer In Charge Sean Sulski a helicopter from the Canadian Coast Guard found an abandoned boat in Canadian waters.

“I believe the Canadian helo (helicopter) found an abandoned boat on the Canadian side, but we didn’t investigate it,” he said.

Ogdensburg Rescue sent their dive team to help in the search, The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection also sent vessels to assist Massena Rescue in locating survivors.

An official with the Massena rescue squad said the New York State Police sent in a helicopter equipped with an Infrared Camera; the helicopter flew from Ogdensburg to Massena searching the water for signs of survivors.

After an extensive search of the St. Lawrence Seaway that lasted several hours, the search and rescue operation was called off with no causalities found.

Mr. Sulski said they received the call at around 5 p.m. and arrived back in Alexandria Bay at around 2:30 a.m. Monday, although he noted the majority of people were cleared from the scene at approximately 10:30 p.m.

“We stayed on scene until the helo had done it’s run,” he said, explaining that if anything had been found in American waters they would have investigated the discovery.

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