Police are searching for a former Monroe priest and another man after their boat carrying nearly 15 passengers capsized Sunday night in the Detroit River.
The Rev. Stephen Rooney, 66, former pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, Temperance, and St. Michael Catholic Church, Monroe, remains missing after his watercraft hit a wake off Stoney Island and flipped about 7:30 p.m. Sunday near Grosse Ile, according to reports from the Grosse Ile Police Department.
Also missing is Robert Timothy Chiles, 52, of Grosse Ile. Chiles, a longtime parishoner whose wife took her own life in the river last September, was driving the boat, authorities said.
Police reported that 14 passengers – nine adults and five children – were on board a 2017 39-foot Nortec Center Console when the vessel rolled and the passengers were ejected, according to preliminary investigation. A boater from Ontario, Canada, reportedly witnessed the accident and assisted most of the passengers.
A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter, the Downriver Dive Team and Wayne County Sheriff’s Office Marine Division searched for Father Rooney and Chiles Sunday night until darkness made conditions unsafe to continue. The Canadian Coast Guard also responded to the search which continues today.
Our Lady, Help of Christians, be their protection, their help, their hope…