Coast Guard rescues 8 people, 2 dogs after vessel hits breakwall near Cleveland

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CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard rescued eight people and two dogs after their 40-foot boat collided with the breakwall near Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland Friday night.

Just after 11 p.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Buffalo, New York, were contacted by a good Samaritan via cell phone that a boat had hit the harbor breakwall on the Lake Erie side near Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland.

Sector Buffalo diverted a boat crew from Coast Guard Station Cleveland Harbor aboard a 45-foot response boat. When the crew arrived on scene, they reported that the boat was partially on the breakwall with at 3-foot by 3-foot hole in the hull.

One of the passengers reported having back and shoulder pain, and another was having trouble breathing. No other injuries were reported.

All of the people and the dogs were brought aboard the response boat and taken to Station Cleveland Harbor where they were met by awaiting emergency medical services.

The condition of the two who were experiencing medical problems is unknown.

The operator of the boat passed field sobriety tests given by a Coast Guard boarding officer and commercial salvage has been contacted to recover the boat.

“It is important that boaters are familiar with the area that they are boating in, especially at night.” said Mike Baron, the recreation boating safety specialist for the Coast Guard 9th District in Cleveland. “If you are unsure of where you are, slow down, reassess your situation and always have a lookout.”

There have been no reports of pollution and aids to navigation in the area are being verified.

Elsewhere on the Great Lakes, the Coast Guard saved two lives and assisted 74 others during the course of the day Friday.

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