CLEVELAND — A Coast Guard boatcrew from Station Buffalo, N.Y., rescued a boater Sunday afternoon after the man’s vessel began taking on water in the Niagara River near North Tonawanda, N.Y.
The boater called 911 emergency dispatchers when he noticed his boat was flooding. The emergency dispatchers passed the boater’s information to Coast Guard Sector Buffalo at 12:13 p.m., and watchstanders there directed a boatcrew to launch from Station Buffalo.
The boatcrew, aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small, arrived on scene in the Niagara River near Niawanda Park in North Tonawanda, N.Y., shortly after and saw that the vessel’s de-watering pumps were keeping up with the flooding, and the man was not injured.
The mariner stated he forgot to put the boat’s plug in before getting underway, which caused the flooding.
The Coast Guard boatcrew towed the man’s vessel to Isle View Park in Tonawanda.
The Coast Guard recommends mariners ensure all the equipment on their vessels works properly before getting underway.
The Coast Guard recommends boaters use a VHF-FM marine radio as a primary means of communication while underway since radios are more reliable than cell phones in a marine environment. When a mayday is sent out via VHF-FM radio it is a broadcast, not just a one-to-one communication as when made via phone. When mariners ask for help on a marine radio, any nearby boaters can hear the distress call and offer immediate assistance. Channel 16 is the international distress frequency and should be used for emergencies only.