Coast Guard rescues 4 from sinking vessel in Lake St. Clair

GROSSE POINTE, Mich. — A Coast Guard boatcrew rescued four people who were aboard a 24-foot cabin cruiser taking on water in Lake St. Clair, near Grosse Pointe, Monday evening during Detroit’s International Freedom Fireworks event.

Radio watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Belle Isle, near Detroit, received a call from local 911 central dispatch at 9:20 p.m. The 911 call relayed contact from the operator of the cabin cruiser. The operator reported that the cabin cruiser was taking on water near the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club in Grosse Pointe.

A rescue boatcrew launched from Station Belle Isle aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium, and Coast Guard Sector Detroit issued an urgent marine information broadcast, alerting mariners in the area of the vessel in distress.

Upon arriving on scene, the boatcrew transferred the passengers of the cabin cruiser to the RB-M. Within 10 minutes, the cabin cruiser became completely submerged.

“We could not attempt to de-water the cabin cruiser due to the amount of water in it, so the safest option was to transfer the passengers to our vessel,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jeffery Gehrke, coxswain of the RB-M.

All passengers were reportedly in good medical condition and were transported to Pier Park in Grosse Pointe.

A commercial salvage company dewatered the vessel Tuesday morning and towed it to the Grosse Point Yacht Club.

“A good lesson learned from this case is that the boating public needs to be prepared for all types of accidents and notify the Coast Guard immediately,” said Gehrke. “Safety gear should always be ready, as you never know when a disaster could happen.”

“Throughout the fireworks display Monday night, Station Belle Isle, Sector Detroit, and partner agencies responded to an additional four cases, resulting in 21 lives assisted in various disabled boating cases,” said Chief Petty Officer Gabriel Settel, command center supervisor, Sector Detroit.

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