Coast Guard rescues 3 after canoe capsizes in Lake Erie

9th Coast Guard District News
CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard rescued three people after their canoe capsized in Lake Erie outside of the Erie channel near Erie, Pa., Tuesday evening.

A rescue boatcrew in a 25-foot Response Boat-Small from Coast Guard Station Erie, on a routine law enforcement patrol, came upon the two men and one woman in their canoe during a patrol about 6:30 p.m., and conducted a spot check of their safety equipment before leaving to continue the patrol.

A crewman looked back minutes later and saw the canoe had capsized and all three people were in the water. The boatcrew rushed back to the canoe, brought both men and the woman aboard the RB-S and transported them to Station Erie, where emergency medical technicians evaluated and released them.

Inexperience may have been a factor in the capsizing, said Petty Officer 2nd Class Anthony Liuzzi, the coxswain of the RB-S.

Liuzzi also said that, although the paddlers were carrying the safety equipment required by law, they were not wearing life jackets and only had a cell phone for communication.

The Coast Guard recommends all boaters wear life jackets at all times while underway because it is difficult to locate and don a life jacket the moment an accident occurs.

Mariners should also carry a VHF-FM radio. While many boaters rely on cell phones for emergency communications on the water, VHF-FM radios are much more reliable in the marine environment and work in areas where cell phones sometimes don’t. When a mayday is broadcast over FM Channel 16, the international hailing and distress frequency, multiple response agencies and other nearby boaters can hear the distress call and offer immediate assistance.

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