CLEVELAND – A Coast Guard boat crew from Station Marblehead, Ohio, rescued four people from Lake Erie Friday afternoon after the people’s boat capsized near Kelley’s Island, sending all four into the lake.
One of the boaters used a cell phone to notify watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Detroit that the vessel was taking on water and passed his location, but communication was eventually lost and could never be re established.
When the Coast Guardsmen arrived on scene, all four people were in the water with their life jackets on. The boat crew brought them aboard and took them to Station Marblehead where they were evaluated and released by awaiting EMTs.
The U.S. Coast Guard smartphone app allows boaters to call the nearest Coast Guard sector command center if they are in need of assistance, but the Coast Guard reminds all boaters cell phones should be a backup means of communication since they often don’t work offshore or when they get wet. A VHF-FM marine radio or personal locator beacon should always be the primary means of distress notification. When a boater calls for help on VHF-FM channel 16, other boaters in the area can hear the broadcast and may render assistance before the Coast Guard arrives.