GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — The Coast Guard and a good Samaritan rescued 4 people after their 20-foot boat caught fire on the Grand River, Sunday.
A boat crew from Coast Guard Station Grand Haven was on an afternoon boat safety patrol near the Grand Haven Power Plant at about 3:45 p.m. when they witnessed a person jump from a boat and into the water. When they arrived on scene to pull that person out of the water, three other people jumped in the water from the same boat, seconds before the boat burst into flames. Neither person who jumped into the water was wearing a life jacket.
The Coast Guard crew pulled two people out the water and onto their 25-foot response boat. A good Sam pulled the other two persons out of the water before transferring them to the Coast Guard boat. All four people were taken to Coast Guard Station Grand Haven where they were met by Grand Haven EMS. Neither person required medical treatment.
Meanwhile, another Coast Guard crew from Station Grand Haven arrived on scene aboard a 47-foot response boat to help fight the fire, along with a crew aboard an Ottawa County Fire Boat. Once the fire was extinguished, the burned vessel was towed to the Harbor Island Marina Boat Ramp.
The Coast Guard reminds boaters to wear a life jacket at all times while underway. “Had a Coast Guard crew or good Samaritans not been in the immediate area when these people jumped into the water, this case may have had a different ending,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Travis Ely, coxswain on the Coast Guard 25-foot response boat.
The Coast Guard also reminds boaters to be sure their vessels are in proper working condition before getting underway. One way is to obtain a free vessel safety check from the Coast Guard Auxiliary.