At 4:35 a.m., a search-and-rescue coordinator, from Coast Guard Sector Detroit, received a call for assistance from a VHF marine radio, channel 16, from a sailing vessel that was taking on water with two people aboard. The SAR coordinator immediately requested the launch of rescue boatcrews from Coast Guard Stations Marblehead and Lorain. A representative from Lake Erie Towing also responded to the call for assistance.
The rescue boatcrew from Station Marblehead arrived on-scene first at 5:28 a.m. The rescue crew had to search for about 20 minutes in the morning darkness for the vessel in distress because the boat’s navigation lights shorted out due to the water coming onboard.
Once on scene, the coxswain of the 33-foot rescue boat, Petty Officer 3rd Class Kyle Love sent over a crewmember, Petty Officer 2nd Class Timothy Johnson, to assist the distressed boaters. Johnson carried over a P-6 dewatering pump to help the boaters dewater their vessel. The remaining two crewmembers aboard the rescue boat set up a towline and connected it to the sailing vessel.
“The quick actions and professionalism of the entire crew resulted in the successful outcome of this case,” said Love. “By the time we arrived on scene, the boaters were beginning to panic and were understandably scared, but my crew quickly took control of the situation and calmed the boaters down.”
Johnson’s P-6 pump kept a continuous flow of incoming water, entering from the breeched hull, at bay as the sailing vessel was towed to shore in the Huron River near Huron City.
Both boaters were wearing their life jackets and were able to get help because they were prepared with a VHF marine radio. The Coast Guard reminds all boaters to be prepared in case of an emergency by ensuring that everyone aboard is wearing a life jacket or has quick access to a life jacket.
The Coast Guard also reminds boaters to take advantage of free vessel safety checks offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary prior to getting out on the water. Click here to learn how to set an appointment for a free vessel safety check with the Coast Guard Auxiliary.