Two rescued on Oneida Lake

ONEIDA LAKE — Two people were rescued off Oneida Lake Friday night after rescue personnel said their boat wouldn’t start.

A 9-1-1 call for a boat in distress was received at 8:49 p.m. by a person who was standing on shore in the Town of Sullivan in Madison County, said Cleveland Fire Chief Carl Avery. The bystander thought they saw smoke coming from a boat out on the lake.

Water rescue personnel from Cleveland, Sylvan Beach and Constantia took to the lake, while the Madison County Sheriff’s Office spoke with the witness to try and narrow down the location of the boat.

It was like "finding the proverbial needle in a haystack," Avery stated. "We conducted a search and were able to find the people."

Avery said there was no fire or smoke on the boat. The motor on the 19-foot craft simply wouldn’t start, he stated. There were two people on board who were unharmed.

"It’s a lot different when you’re stranded in the middle of the lake to when you’re stranded on the side of the highway," Avery said. "We pulled them into shore."

The boat was stranded about half a mile east of Cleveland, the chief said. They were pulled to the south shore.