Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw assists boater in distress near Cross Village, Michigan

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SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — A boat crew from the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw came to the aid of a boater in distress on Lake Michigan Tuesday.

At about 11:25 a.m., a watchstander at the Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie command center received a call over channel 16 from the owner of a 16-foot commercial fishing vessel stating his boat was disabled and adrift about three miles northwest of Cross Village, Michigan. The owner, a 34-year-old man, stated the boat was also taking on a small amount of water.

A Coast Guard response crew from Station St. Ignace and a Tribal Conservation officer assist a boater back to shore after his vessel became disabled about three miles northwest of Cross Village, Mich. Another Coast Guard crew from the cutter Mackinaw came to the initial aid of the boater and took him and his vessel in side tow closer to shore. (Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Keith Fruncillo)

A Coast Guard response crew from Station St. Ignace and a Tribal Conservation officer assist a boater back to shore after his vessel became disabled about three miles northwest of Cross Village, Mich. (Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Keith Fruncillo)

Sector Sault Ste. Marie issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast and launched a boat crew from Coast Guard Station St. Ignace, which trailered their smallboat to the location shore side. The Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw, which was conducting aids to navigation operations about 20 miles from the scene, was diverted. In addition, a Tribal Conservation officer was dispatched to the area shore side.

At about 1:30 p.m., the Mackinaw arrived on scene, and shortly after a boat crew was launched aboard the cutter’s small boat. The crew took the man and his disabled vessel in side tow to the Cross Village Boat Ramp where Station St. Ignace and Tribal Conservation personnel assisted the man and his vessel.

The Coast Guard reminds all boaters to take the necessary safety precautions to ensure a safe outing, including making sure you have a marine radio to call for help. Don’t rely on a cell phone since you may not get coverage away from shore. Also, wear a life jacket at all times, check the weather forecast before venturing out, and wear the proper clothing to stay dry and warm, and to prevent hypothermia.

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