Coast Guard assists man after boat starts taking on water in Lake Michigan

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CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard rescued a man after his boat began taking on water approximately 1 mile west of the New Buffalo pier heads in Lake Michigan, Monday evening.

Just before 9 p.m., the watchstander at Coast Guard Station Michigan City, Indiana, received a cell phone call from the owner of a 20-foot pleasure craft stating that his boat was taking on water approximately 1 mile west New Buffalo, Michigan. He also stated that his cell phone battery was low just before the call dropped.

A crew from Station Michigan City launched aboard a 45-foot response boat and arrived on scene shortly after. The crew identified the engine’s water pump as the source of the flooding and secured the leak.

They then dewatered the man’s boat and took it into a stern tow to New Buffalo Harbor.

“If this boater’s cell phone had died two minutes earlier, this rescue could have become a tragedy,” said Mike Baron, the recreational boating safety specialist for the Coast Guard 9th District. “I recommend that all boaters carry a VHF-FM marine radio tuned to channel 16. We monitor that channel around the clock and it’s the best way to get help in an emergency.”

There are no reports of pollution and it is unknown if the man was wearing a lifejacket.

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