Coast Guard assists boat taking on water

STURGEON BAY, Wis.- U.S. Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan received a distress call from a vessel taking on water off of Green Island in Green Bay Friday at approximately 8:29 a.m.

Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay dispatched a 25-foot small response boat (RB-S) and a 41-foot utility boat (UTB). When the Coast Guard crews arrived, there was one-and-a-half feet of water in the engine room.

“When our boat crew arrived on scene, we saw that the two people onboard had taken the extra precaution of putting on their lifejackets,” said Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Larry Hall, 25-footer coxswain.

After placing a pump onboard the boat and safely dewatering, the crew towed the boat safely back into Menominee.

There were two people and one dog onboard the 33-foot boat when the call was made over channel 16 on the boat’s marine band radio. Sector Lake Michigan’s command center directed Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay to respond to the call.

The Coast Guard would like to remind the boating public that the law states that boat operators must have a Coast Guard-approved lifejacket for every member on board their vessel. The Coast Guard suggests boaters go a step further, such as these two individuals did, and wear the life jacket at all times when on the water. There is often little to no time to reach for a stowed lifejacket when an accident occurs.

The Coast Guard encourages boaters to invest in a VHF-FM radio as their primary means of alerting distress on the water. Communication via VHF-FM radio provides superior alerting capabilities over cellular phones and is monitored 24/7 by the Coast Guard. A person in distress is a call away from swift rescue with a marine band radio.

Additional information on life jackets (PFDs), can be found at http://www.uscgboating.org/safety/fedreqs/equ_pfd.htm

To learn about regulations and additional marine band radio information, go to http://www.uscgboating.org/SAFETY/fedreqs/equ_radio.htm

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