Coast Guard, good Samaritans rescue 1 child, 3 adults from capsized boat

Great Lakes Coast Guard NewsCLEVELAND — A rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station St. Joseph, Mich., and a good Samaritan rescued three adults and one child in Lake Michigan near South Haven, Mich., after the 17-foot recreational boat they were aboard capsized, Tuesday afternoon.

The child aboard the capsized vessel was wearing a life jacket, while the three adults were not.

The radio watchstander at Station St. Joseph received to a mayday call at about 1 p.m. over VFH-FM channel 16 from a good Samaritan who reported four people in the water.

A rescue boatcrew from Station St. Joseph launched aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small and a rescue aircrew from Coast Guard Air Facility Muskegon launched aboard an MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter.

Boaters aboard two nearby recreational vessels were each able to rescue one of the adults, while the remaining adult and the child were reportedly swept away by the current.

The aircrew located the remaining adult and child and notified the RB-S crew of their location. The crew of the RB-S rescued them both and transported them to awaiting emergency medical services at South Haven Municipal Marina.

The good Samaritans aboard the civilian recreational vessel transported the people they rescued to the marina also.

“Wearing a life jacket may save your life, but it only works if you are wearing it,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Adolfo Alvarado, a crewman assigned to Station St. Joseph.

The Coast Guard recommends that mariners wear a properly fitting Coast Guard-approved life jacket at all times while underway. According to the Coast Guard’s Recreational Boating Statistics 2011 report, the most current verified statistics available, of the 533 people across the nation who drowned in recreational boating accidents in 2011, 84 percent were not wearing a life jacket.

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