Coast Guard and good Samaritan boater rescue 2 in Lake Erie

9th Coast Guard District NewsCLEVELAND – A boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Fairport, Ohio, and a good Samaritan rescued a Mentor, Ohio, man and a Painesville, Ohio, man from Lake Erie after the 16-foot catamaran they were on capsized near Fairport Thursday morning.

One of the two men was reportedly in the water for about two hours before being rescued by the Coast Guard boatcrew.

The good Samaritan was transiting through the area when he noticed the two men in the water clinging to the overturned catamaran. Both were wearing life jackets, but they reportedly did not have a VHF-FM marine radio with them.

The good Samaritan brought one of the men aboard his vessel and transported him to Coast Guard Station Fairport, where the man notified the response crew there that the other man had chosen to stay with the overturned vessel while waiting for additional help

Response boatcrews immediately launched aboard a 47-foot Motor Life Boat and a 25-foot Response Boat-Small. When the boatcrews arrived on scene about five minutes later, they brought the second man aboard the MLB, re-righted the catamaran and used the RB-S to tow the vessel to Station Fairport. No injuries were reported.

“This rescue illustrates why it is so imperative for boaters to wear their life jackets at all times,” said Paul Angelillo, a search and rescue coordinator at Coast Guard Sector Buffalo. “This is the second successful rescue in Lake Erie in 24 hours where everyone was wearing a life jacket, and we can’t help but think the life jackets were instrumental to the positive outcomes.”

The Coast Guard also recommends boaters carry VHF-FM marine radios. A marine band radio is the best way to contact the Coast Guard or marine response agencies if you are in distress on the water. When a mayday is sent out via VHF-FM radio it is a broadcast, not just a one-to-one communication as when made via phone. When mariners ask for help on a marine radio, any nearby boaters can hear the distress call and offer immediate assistance. Channel 16 is the international distress frequency and should be used for emergencies only.

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