Coast Guard rescues mariner after 4 hours in cold water without life jacket

A \boat crew from Coast Guard Station Alpena, Mich., rescued a man who was in 60-degree water without a life jacket in Lake Huron for almost four hours after his boat capsized near Stoneport, Mich., Sept. 6.

The man reportedly held on to a floating cooler while another man who had been on the boat with him swam to shore and called for help.

Coast Guard Sector Detroit learned of the accident at about noon EST and immediately dispatched search crews aboard a helicopter from Air Station Traverse City, Mich., and a boat from Station Alpena to search.

The boat crew located the man, who was showing signs of hypothermia and still holding onto the cooler, at about 2 p.m., EST. They brought him aboard their rescue boat and took him to shore where EMS was waiting to take him to a local hospital for further evaluation.

The Coast Guard recommends that all people recreating on the water wear a lifejacket at all times and encourages mariners to invest in a VHF-FM marine-band radio as their primary means of communication on the water.

VHF-FM Channel 16, the international hailing and distress channel, is monitored by the Coast Guard and state marine patrols around the clock. In addition, distress calls broadcast over VHF-FM Channel 16 will be heard by all mariners in the vicinity. Urgent safety information and weather reports for boaters are also broadcast over marine band radio channels.

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