Coast Guard rescues 63-year-old man following 3-hour search in Lake Erie

9th Coast Guard District News
CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard rescued a 63-year-old man Sunday in Lake Erie after he had been reported overdue the previous day.

Just before 4 a.m., Coast Guard Sector Detroit was notified by the Brownstown, Mich., Police of a possible overdue 16-foot white fishing vessel, with a 63-year-old man aboard.

His wife reported that she had not heard from him since 6:30 a.m. Saturday when he had left to go fishing.

The Brownstown Police sent officers to locations that his wife stated the man typically launched from.

The Monroe County, Mich., Sheriff’s Department reported that they had located the man’s vehicle and trailer at the Bolles Harbor boat ramp.

Sector Detroit directed the launch of a boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Toledo, Ohio, aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small.

A Canadian Coast Guard C-130 was also requested and launched from Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Trenton, Ontario.

At 6:40 a.m., a good Samaritan reported that he came across a person stranded on an overturned boat. It was confirmed that it was the same person the Coast Guard had been searching for.

The man reported that his boat had capsized at about 5 p.m., Saturday during a squall. He was wearing a life jacket.

A second boatcrew from Station Toledo launched aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium, and an aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit responded aboard an MH-65C Dolphin helicopter.

The RB-M crew safely removed the man from the overturned boat and took him to Meinkes Marina in Anchor Point, Ohio, to meet with emergency medical services.

The Coast Guard reminds boaters to carry emergency communication devices onboard their vessels. A VHF-FM marine radio is the best and easiest way to contact the Coast Guard in an emergency situation. Cell phones are good as well, but serve better as a secondary form of communication due to possibilities of coverage gaps. Flares and other emergency signaling devices are important, too.

The Coast Guard also would like to remind boaters of the importance of wearing a life jacket. The only life jacket that can help save your life is one that is being worn. As this case illustrates, you can never predict when you may have to enter the water.

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