Officials investigate vessel hijacking on Niagara River

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(CLEVELAND) — The Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Canada's Niagara Regional Police and the Niagara County Sheriff's Office are investigating a reported hijacking of a Canadian-flagged charter vessel by two Canadian men Tuesday afternoon.

The Coast Guard is not releasing names.

About 1:30 p.m. the master of an 18-foot Canadian charter vessel took his boat to Coast Guard Station Niagara, N.Y., to report that just moments ago two men, both believed to be Canadian citizens, had directed him at knife point to take them to shore.

The men had arrived at the Queenston (Ontario) Marina on the Niagara River earlier and paid for a fishing charter. The charter vessel captain reported that after he transited to Lake Ontario for the charter one of the men pulled a knife and demanded the master take them to shore immediately.

The master cooperated with the demands and took the men to shore near Four Mile Creek State Park in New York.

Both men had phones and began making calls as they fled the scene on foot.

The master immediately transited to Station Niagara and reported the hijacking to station personnel.

Station Niagara crews completed a shoreline search with no sightings.

Once investigators gathered all the information and evidence they needed, a Station Niagara boat crew escorted the captain and his vessel back to Queenston.  

This investigation is currently ongoing and any updates will be released as they become available.

For questions regarding the search for the suspects, call William Evans of the Niagara County Sheriff's Office at 716-622-2143.

By Professional Mariner Staff