Coast Guard rescues 3, removes 3 drunk boaters during busy Saturday on the Great Lakes

d9CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard rescued two, assisted four, conducted a medevac and cited three boaters for boating under the influence during patrols throughout the Great Lakes region, Saturday.

At about 11:40 a.m., Coast Guard Station Lorain, Ohio, responded to a sailing vessel with two people aboard taking on water near the mouth of the Black River. The rescue boat crew, aboard a 25-foot response boat, towed the vessel to safety. The sailing vessel Osprey’s bilge pump kept up with the incoming water.

At about 12:30 p.m., a rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Alexandria Bay, New York, medically evacuated a woman suffering from a severe illness. The woman was aboard the 62-foot passenger vessel Island Wanderer, which was too big to pull into the closest port. The Coast Guard boat crew transferred the ill woman to local emergency medical services on shore. Her condition is unknown at this time.

At about 3 p.m., a rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Sodus Point, New York, a Coast Guard Auxiliary operated station, responded to two boaters aboard a 20-foot boat that hit a rock and lost its propeller. The boat was in danger of running aground near Newark Island in Sodus Bay. The rescue boat crew towed the disabled boat to Sodus Bay Boat Ramp.

At about 3:30 p.m., a Coast Guard law enforcement team from Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, teamed with police officers from Green Bay, Wisconsin, to cite two boaters for possession of marijuana during a routine boarding.

At about 4:30 p.m., a Coast Guard law enforcement team from Coast Guard Station Oswego, New York, teamed with officers from Onondaga Sheriff’s Department, as part of Operation Dry Water, to conduct a vessel safety check of a 14-foot boat with three people aboard. During the boarding, the boat’s operator showed signs of intoxication and failed field sobriety tests administered by the police officers. The officers then administered a blood alcohol content test and found the operator’s BAC to be .10 percent. The legal limit across the Great Lakes is .08 pecent, and so the boater’s voyage was terminated and their boat was towed to the Bridgeport Boat Ramp.

Also at about 4:30 p.m., a rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Calumet Harbor, in Chicago, aboard a 25-foot response boat, rescued two people from the water in Burnham Harbor after observing a overturned WaveRunner during a routine patrol. The rescue boat crew pulled both people out of the water, re-righted their craft and towed it back to Chicago WaveRunner Rentals.

The Coast Guard reminds all boaters to remain vigilant while on the water by being aware of your surroundings and other boaters nearby. Wear your life jackets at all times and be prepared for emergency situations by having signaling and working communication devices on board.

The Coast Guard also reminds boaters they can expect to see an increase in patrols by Coast Guard crews and other law enforcement agencies this weekend in support of Operation Dry Water, a national campaign to spread awareness about the dangers of boating under the influence and to remove impaired boaters from the waterways. Persons who are found boating under the influence can expect to incur severe penalties ranging from fines to jail time.

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