SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – The Coast Guard and local agencies rescued three people after their 29-foot vessel ran up onto a breakwall ouside the Sheboygan River as they were heading into the Sheboygan Marina, Wednesday
Shortly after 9:30 p.m., a watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan received a call from a good Samaritan stating he had witnessed a vessel run into the breakwall.
The watchstander diverted a rescue crew from Coast Guard Station Sheboygan, already underway on routine patrol aboard a 45-foot response boat, to the scene. When the crew arrived, they found the boat resting high on the breakwall with the three people still aboard. None of the passengers was wearing a lifejacket.
One of the Coast Guard crewmembers was transferred to the vessel to assess the situation and to tend to a passenger who suffered a head injury. Meanwhile, a crew aboard a Sheboygan County Sheriff marine unit arrived on scene and later transported the passengers back to the marina and waiting EMS. The passenger who sustained the head injury was taken to Sheboygan Memorial Hospital.
Coast Guard personnel will be back near the scene today to determine any potential for pollution.
The Coast Guard reminds boaters to be familiar with the surroundings and adjust operating speed at night.
“Lights on shore can sometimes be mistaken for aids to navigation or other markings into a harbor or marina,” said Chief Petty Officer Anthony Valeri, officer in charge of Coast Guard Station Sheboygan. “People should adjust their speed in an unfamiliar situation.
In addition, passengers are urged to wear lifejackets at all time.
“This case could have had a totally different outcome if the passengers were thrown overboard,” reiterated Valeri. “People need to understand that they won’t have time to locate a life jacket, let alone put one on, when they’re in the water. Without a lifejacket on, a person who is unconscious in the water will not survive.”