Missing swimmer rescued after 3 ½ hour search

Posted 1 August 2015 at 11:51 pm

Press Release, Orleans County Sheriff Scott Hess

KENDALL – A 3½ hour search for a missing swimmer on Lake Ontario on Saturday afternoon and evening had a happy ending when the individual was located and rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The incident began shortly before 5:30 p.m. James A. Cox, 62, of Holley and his brother William E. Cox, 51, of Albion had left from Point Breeze and taken their boat out on the lake for a pleasure trip.

They were about 3 miles out from the Town of Kendall shoreline when the younger Cox decided to take a swim. They shut down the boat’s engine and William Cox entered the water. Eventually he and the vessel began to drift apart.

The elder brother attempted to start the engine at that time, but was unsuccessful. The boat and the younger Cox continued drifting apart until the brothers were no longer in sight of one another.

James Cox called Orleans County 9-1-1 and the Sheriff’s Marine Unit was dispatched. Deputies E.N. Fuller and J.R. Heinlein responded to the area and, utilizing GPS coordinates supplied by Cox’s cell phone, they eventually located the disabled vessel.

James Cox was taken on-board the Sheriff’s boat and the search for his brother continued. That search also included the U.S. Coast Guard, the New York State Police Aviation Unit, and the Carlton F.D. Marine Unit. Just before 9 p.m., the Coast Guard notified Orleans County 9-1-1 that they had rescued William Cox and were transporting him to Point Breeze to meet with EMS personnel.

Mr. Cox walked off the Coast Guard vessel under his own power. He was transported as a precaution to Strong West Emergency in Brockport by Central Orleans Volunteer Ambulance. Cox’s boat was towed back to Point Breeze by the Sheriff’s Marine Unit.