Coast Guard and local citizens respond to 2 boating accidents and rescue 9 boaters

9th Coast Guard District NewsCLEVELAND – Rescue boatcrews from two Coast Guard smallboat stations and good Samaritans combined to rescue nine boaters in lakes Erie and Superior, Wednesday afternoon.

All nine people were wearing life jackets and were rescued in good condition.

In the first case, a boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Erie, Pa., launched aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small after local 911 dispatch alerted them to seven people in the water near Beach 10 in Presque Isle State Park at 2:13 pm. The recreational boaters’ 18-foot pleasure craft reportedly sank about 100 yards from shore. The Coast Guard boatcrew rescued five of the boaters, and the crew of a good Samaritan vessel rescued the remaining two.

Coast Guard Sector Buffalo, N.Y., has issued a Safety Marine Information Broadcast, alerting mariners in the area to the possible hazard to navigation. There has been no pollution observed and the owner of the vessel is coordinating salvage.

In the second case, a boatcrew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Coast Guard Station Marquette, Mich., rescued two people in the Chocolay River near Marquette after their 14-foot catamaran capsized.

Radio watchstanders at Station Marquette received notification of the capsized vessel from a good Samaritan who saw the capsized vessel from his home at 2:43 p.m., Central Daylight Time.

The Station Marquette rescue boatcrew was able to right the catamaran and is currently towed it to Chocolay River Beach.

Both individuals were wearing wetsuits as well as life jackets.

“These successful rescues really underscore the importance of wearing your life jacket while boating,” said Lt. Ryan Crose, a search and rescue coordinator in the 9th District Command Center. “Of course, we will never know how different circumstances may affect the outcome of an emergency situation. But, we can’t help but think that the life jackets were vital to the success of our crews’ rescue efforts.”

According to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Recreational Boating Statistics Report, in 2010, almost 3/4 of fatal boating accident victims drowned. And, of those drownings, 88 percent were reportedly not wearing life jackets.

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