Coast Guard rescue two from vessel taking on water

CHICAGO – A U.S. Coast Guard Station Calumet Harbor boat crew rescued two males from a 22-foot pleasure craft taking on water in southern Lake Michigan, Saturday, at approximately 10:45 p.m.

The Coast Guard boatcrew transferred all three men safely aboard the station’s 25-foot small response boat (RB-S), and attempted to tow the vessel with a 41-foot utility boat. The damaged vessel eventually capsized.

During transport to shore, both men reported no injuries.

“There was about 700 gallons of water onboard when we arrived on scene,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin Duggan, a boatswain’s mate assigned to Station Calumet Harbor. “When we brought them aboard, there was only about one or two feet of the boat above the waterline, normally, there would have been about four feet.”

The owner of the boat contacted the Coast Guard via cell phone after his boat began to take on water. They intended to go fishing in Lake Michigan.

The Coast Guard recommends mariners invest in a VHF-FM radio as their primary means of alerting distress on the water. Communication via VHF-FM radio provides superior alerting capabilities when compared to cellular phones. When a MAYDAY is sent out via VHF-FM radio, it is a broadcast. Not just one party is receiving the distress call; any nearby boaters can hear the distress call and offer immediate assistance.

Additionally, the Coast Guard also reminds everyone that all recreational boats must carry one wearable personal flotation device (Type I, II, III or Type V PFD) for each person aboard. Any boat 16 feet and longer (except canoes and kayaks) must also carry one throwable PFD (Type IV PFD). The law states boaters must have a PFD onboard, but the Coast Guard recommends boaters wear their PFDs at all times when boating. It is much more difficult to locate, access or don a PFD at the moment an accident occurs.

Additional information on PFDs can be found at http://www.uscgboating.org/safety/fedreqs/equ_pfd.htm.

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