Coast Guard crews assist 9 on Lake Erie Sunday to cap off busy holiday weekend

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CLEVELAND — Coast Guard Sector Buffalo, New York, crews assisted a vessel in Fairport Harbor, Ohio, and another in Buffalo during a busy Sunday afternoon for the Coast Guard on the Great Lakes.

Around 2:30 p.m., a crew aboard a 45-foot response boat from Coast Guard Station Fairport discovered a 27-foot sailboat with one person aboard that had run aground four feet from the Fairport Harbor breakwall. Due to the sailboat’s proximity to the breakwall, the crew of the response boat conducted a salvage operation to free the vessel from the mud.

After recovering the vessel, a safety check was conducted by the Coast Guard crew. The sailboat was able to regain power and make its way into the harbor.

There were no reports of any injuries or pollution.

Just before 5 p.m., watchstanders at Sector Buffalo received a phone call from a person aboard a 26-foot pleasure craft with seven other people aboard. The person reported that their boat had hit the breakwall in Buffalo Harbor. Sector Buffalo directed the launch of a crew aboard a 25-foot response boat from Coast Guard Station Buffalo. When the crew arrived on scene, they assessed the situation and towed the 26-foot pleasure craft to the Buffalo Small Boat Harbor.

The crew conducted a boarding of the vessel and found no signs of damage, pollution or injuries.

“It is important to be familiar with the area in which you are operating your vessel and if at all possible have someone assist you as a lookout,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Josh Fennell, the officer of the day at Station Buffalo. “While we suggest wearing life jackets at all times, it is important to put them on while waiting for assistance.”

Elsewhere this weekend on the Great Lakes, Coast Guard crews responded to 163 distress, law enforcement and marine safety calls, saved 15 lives and assisted 231 boaters. Coast Guard law enforcement crews also cited 13 operators for boating under the influence and terminated 19 other voyages due to unsafe operation or insufficient safety equipment.

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