News and views, and history and humor, about the lake I love.

"I can hear my granddad's stories of the storms out on Lake Erie, where vessels and cargos and fortunes, and sailors' lives were lost." ~ James Taylor, Millworker

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

1 Dead, 2 Injured in Ballast Island Mishap

The Coast Guard has identified Jennifer Ulisse of Kelleys Island as the person killed when a 27-foot pleasure boat slammed into a break wall near Ballast Island about 10:30 pm Tuesday. The crash also injured two others. Ms. Ulisse was pronounced dead at the scene. She was a passenger in the boat. Donald Dunn of Put-in-Bay, the operator, and Tina Callari of Lakewood, Ohio, another passenger, were taken to an unidentified area hospital. The victims were not wearing life jackets, officers said. The exact cause and circumstances of the incident off Ballast Island was unknown. The area was reportedly experiencing storms and waves of about 3 feet. The Coast Guard happened to have a vessel in the area and responded quickly. recovering the two injured people and finding Ms. Ulisse unresponsive in the water. The accident remains under investigation.

Ballast Island is located east of Middle Bass Island and northeast of Put-in-Bay in the Sandusky islands chain. The island received its name when commodore Oliver Hazard Perry used rocks from this island, according to legend, to ballast his ships. You can read more about the history of the Ballast Island here. There is a nice blog posting about Ballast Island in earlier times here. The island even has a Facebook page.

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