lights over lake ontario

Strange orange lights were spotted over Lake Ontario

People looking out over Lake Ontario Thursday night spotted an orange glowing light fired into the sky but the reason behind the strange orb turns out to be a sad one.

The lights appeared in the sky around 10 p.m. on Aug. 26, according to Mississauga resident Jay Patel. Patel says it appeared continuously every two to three minutes from the west.

Several people in Etobicoke also saw what was described as "orange fireballs" over Lake Ontario, according to a post in the South Etobicoke Community Facebook group.

It turns out the lights were actually flares used to search for a missing boater, according to Halton Regional Police.

Shortly after 6 p.m. on Aug. 26 Halton Police Marine officers were helping a boater around 16 Mile Creek and Lake Ontario while a storm was moving through the area.

At this time they noticed another boat nearby which appeared to be adrift.

"Upon closer examination, the Marine Officers were able to board the vessel and determine there were no occupants aboard," police say.

Police learned an experienced operator, Robert Wyles, 80, who is not from Halton, bought the boat earlier in the day and he was seen alone, boarding and leaving Bronte Harbor around 12:30 p.m.

A search and rescue was immediately initiated, which quickly expanded to joint efforts between Halton/Peel/Hamilton Police Marine units, Towarf (Marine Rescue) and JRCC (CFB Trenton), police say.

A shoreline search was also conducted along the shores of Lake Ontario from 16 Mile Creek Area (Trafalgar Road) to Bronte Harbor (Burloak Drive) by Halton Police search team.

The water search was expected to continue into Aug. 27.

"Homeowners can expect to see illumination in the area as the rescuers utilize flares to enhance visibility during the night search," police say.

Halton Police asked residents with shoreline property to check their shorelines for the missing man.

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