Coast Guard has busy weekend on eastern Great Lakes

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CLEVELAND – The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police rescued two people, medically evacuated one person, and assisted four others in four separate emergency cases in the eastern Great Lakes region this weekend.

At 11 p.m., Saturday, a search-and-rescue controller at Coast Guard Sector Buffalo received notification from the crew aboard a Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel of two people aboard a 28-foot boat that was taking on water after alliding with an aid to navigation light in Irondequoit Bay. The Auxiliary members removed the two people from the sinking boat and transferred them to a nearby marina. There were no injuries or pollution reported. The vessel sank and was later removed by a salvage company contracted by the owner of the boat.

At 3 p.m., Saturday, a search-and-rescue controller at Coast Guard Sector Buffalo received notification of two people aboard a 26-foot boat aground in the St. Lawrence River near Twin Island, New York. A rescue boat crew aboard a 24-foot response boat launched from Coast Guard Station Buffalo. Before the rescue crew arrived on scene, the people aboard the grounded vessel were able to refloat the boat but it had lost power and was drifting back into shallow water. The Coast Guard crew towed the vessel to the Chalk and Sons Marina in Fisher’s Landing, New York.

At 9 a.m., Sunday, a search-and-rescue controller at Coast Guard Sector Buffalo received a request from the captain of a 45-foot fishing boat to medically evacuate a 54-year-old man who had lost consciousness aboard the boat. A rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Erie, Pennsylvania, launched aboard a 25-foot response boat. After arriving on scene, the rescue crew transferred the man to the rescue boat and transported him to awaiting emergency medical personnel at the Dobbins Landing Marina in Presque Isle Bay, Pennsylvania. EMS further transported the man to the Hamot Medical Center in Erie. The man was last known to be in stable condition.

At 5 p.m., Sunday, a search-and-rescue controller at Coast Guard Sector Buffalo received a request from the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Trenton, Ontario, Canada, for assistance with towing a disabled 26-foot boat from Canada to Buffalo. The U.S. register boat, with two people aboard, ran aground near Fort Erie, Ontario. A rescue boat crew from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had towed the boat into deeper water and then transferred the boat to a rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Buffalo aboard a45-foot response boat. The Coast Guard rescue crew towed the boat to Erie Basin Marina in Buffalo.

The Coast Guard reminds boaters on all the Great Lakes to be extra vigilant during the fall months due to an increase in water temperatures.

“Warm air temperatures can create a false sense of security for boaters,” said Mike Baron, recreational boating safety specialist for the Coast Guard 9th District. “Cool water drains body heat up to 25 times faster than cool air. That is why we encourage boaters to always dress for the water temperature and not the air temperature.

Great Lakes weather is unpredictable and dangerous, especially during seasonal transitions.

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