Coast Guard boatcrew rescues windsurfer near Alpena

9th Coast Guard District NewsCLEVELAND — A Coast Guard boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Alpena, Mich., rescued a windsurfer Sunday evening at the mouth of Thunder Bay near Alpena after the windsurf board’s mast and fin broke, causing the 52-year-old man to become stranded on his board.

The man’s wife called Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., at 7:18 p.m., Sunday to report her husband planned to return to the couple’s home in South Ossineke, Mich., at 6:30 p.m., and had not returned.

A boatcrew from Station Alpena immediately launched in a 25-foot Response Boat-Small and found the man at 8:37 p.m., at the mouth of Thunder Bay where he was sitting on the windsurf board and trying to use his hands to paddle toward shore. The sail was in the water. The man said he was having trouble maneuvering the windsurf board due to the broken mast and fin. He was reportedly wearing a wetsuit but did not have a lifejacket on.

The boatcrew brought the man aboard the RB-S and took him to Thunder Bay Marina where he declined medical treatment. He had no reported injuries.

The Coast Guard encourages all mariners to leave a float plan with a friend or relative before recreating on the water. Among other things, a float plan indicates how long a person is expected to be out on the water and instructions on who to contact if that person doesn’t return at the time indicated. More information on float plans and an example of one are available HERE.

The Coast Guard also recommends those who recreate on the water wear a lifejacket at all times while underway since falls overboard and other accidents may happen quickly and without warning.

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