Just before 3 p.m., watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Buffalo, New York, command center were notified of a capsized 43-foot sail boat at the mouth of the Niagara River with multiple people in the water.
Sector Buffalo directed the launch of a rescue crew from Coast Guard Station Niagara, in Youngstown, New York, aboard a 45-foot response boat and issued an urgent marine information broadcast to inform mariners of the situation and ask them to assist if able.
An aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit aboard a Dolphin helicopter was also dispatched.
It was reported that while the vessel was entering the Niagara River, it ran aground and tore off the vessel’s keel, causing it to capsize.
Four good Samaritans responded to the broadcast and rescued three people from the water. The Station Niagara crew arrived on scene and rescued five people from the water.
It was confirmed with the sail boat’s master that all persons had been accounted for.
“Safe navigation starts before leaving the dock,” said Mike Baron, the recreational boating safety specialist for the Coast Guard 9th District in Cleveland. “Conditions can change, so be sure to have the latest navigation updates for your charts.”
The sail boat was reported to have less than five gallons of gasoline aboard, but no pollution was reported.
The vessel is still adrift in Canadian waters and the boat’s master is making plans to salvage the boat. Sector Buffalo has issued a special marine information broadcast via VHF-FM Ch 16 for the vessel to advise mariners to be on the lookout.