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U.S. Coast Guard goes into day 3 of search for missing fisherman

Posted at 1:05 PM, Jul 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-28 13:05:10-04

The U.S. Coast Guard is heading into day three of the search for missing Canadian fisherman, Giusseppe Reinhart.

As of Thursday morning, authorities have scanned more than 3700 square nautical miles, using more than 60 different search patterns by air and on the water.

Lt. j.g. Katelyn Waddle of the Coast Guard Sector Buffalo says the search is still considered a rescue mission and not a body recovery search.

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Authorities have been searching Lake Erie using two different scenarios, patterns based on if Reinhart has a life vest or not. Lt. Waddle says whether or not he has a floatation device would determine how and where the currents may carry him.

Waddle also says weather has been favorable for survival; the water has been warmer in recent days and wind has not played a major factor. Patterns show that Lake Erie currents may have carried Reinhart closer to the upper portion of the Niagara River, providing a more narrow search area for boats and aircraft.

Waddle said the number one priority of the Coast Guard is to find Reinhart alive. She says one of the biggest keys to survival is a victim's will to survive, "One thing the Coast Guard has found is if a person has a strong will to live or a strong will to survive, they are more likely to do anything mentally that will help them physically survive."

That 'will to survive' is one of the main reasons the Coast Guard has conducted constant aerial patrols. Lt. Waddle says the fact that the aircraft are larger, louder and easier to spot than boats helps victims mentally comprehend that someone is looking for them.

At least one vessel, either air or marine, has been on duty at all times for the search for Reinhart since his boat was found Tuesday afternoon.

Two life vests have been found on Reinhart's boat, but that provides no indication of whether or not he has one.

This is Coast Guard Sector Buffalo's largest search on Lake Erie in years.

Despite reports of Reinhart's criminal history and parole status, Niagara Falls Regional Police told 7 Eyewitness News that this remains a missing persons case and they do not consider Reinhart to be a current threat to public safety.