Coast Guard rescues 54-year-old man after vessel capsized near Bois Blanc Island, Mich.

9th Coast Guard District NewsCLEVELAND – A U.S. Coast Guard boatcrew from Station St. Ignace, Mich., rescued a 54-year-old man after the 12-foot aluminum boat he was on capsized near Bois Blanc Island off Cheboygan, Mich., in Lake Huron Tuesday night.

A 50-year-old man, who had also been aboard the vessel, was able to swim to shore and used a cell phone to report the capsized vessel about 7:30 p.m. Boatcrews in a 25-foot Response Boat-Small and a 47-foot Motor Life Boat from Coast Guard Station St. Ignace immediately launched.

When the Coast Guardsmen in the RB-S arrived on scene they found the man clinging to side of the overturned vessel. He was not wearing a life jacket.

The RB-S crew recovered the man, who was suffering from hypothermia and shock, from the water and took him to shore in Cheboygan, Mich., where emergency medical technicians were waiting to further transport him to a local hospital.

The crew of the 47-foot MLB was able to lift the disabled vessel on the rear deck of their boat, removing the possible hazard to navigation. They tranported the skiff to Station St. Ignace.

The Coast Guard recommends all mariners wear life jackets at all times while underway, dress for the water temperature instead of the air temperature and carry a VHF-FM marine radio.

“Boaters need to be responsible for the safety of themselves, their passengers and other boaters,” said Frank Jennings, Jr., recreational boating safety program manager for the Ninth Coast Guard District. “That means not only having the proper number of life jackets onboard, but wearing them whenever underway. It is much more difficult to find and don a life jacket during an emergency. Boaters need to be prepared ahead of time.”

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