Coast Guard Rescues Husband and Wife from Lake Ontario

OSWEGO, N.Y.  (D9 Public Affairs) – The Coast Guard rescued a husband and his wife, yesterday, in Northeast Lake Ontario after the husband fell into the water and the wife remained adrift on their catamaran.

Dick Slettenhar and Ellen Kupers, of the Netherlands, were visiting the Eastern Great Lakes. They departed Prince Edwards Bay in their catamaran on Monday evening.

Slettenhar observed something wrong with the boat’s sail and went forward to correct the problem. He was returning to the helm when he slipped and fell into the water.

Kupers efforts to recover him were unsuccessful. At approximately 3 p.m., she contacted 911 dispatch.

A U.S. Coast Guard Station Oswego 47-foot Motor Lifeboat was launched at 3:56 p.m. and recovered Kupers. She was transferred to a 33-foot response boat and taken to Station Oswego.

A U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Detroit HH-65 Dolphin helicopter; the Station Oswego 47-foot MLB; a Canadian C-130 and a Griffin helicopter dispatched from Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Trenton; the Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Cape Hearne; and an Oswego Police helicopter were launched to search for Slettenhar who was adrift in Lake Ontario.

Slettenhar was recovered by the Coast Guard helicopter, at approximately 11:30 p.m., and taken to a local hospital in Oswego were he was treated for mild hypothermia.

“Slettenhar was wearing, and not only possessing, a personal floatation device,” said Lt. David French, Ninth Coast Guard District Public Affairs Officer. “That act was integral in his recovery.”

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