Coast Guard rescues Pittsburgh man in Lake Erie

USCG file photo

CLEVELAND – A boat crew from Coast Guard Station Erie, Pa., rescued a 26-year-old Pittsburgh man after his kayak capsized in Presque Isle Bay in Lake Erie Friday morning.

Coast Guardsmen from Station Erie learned of the accident at about 8:30 a.m., immediately dispatching a rescue crew aboard a 47-foot motor life boat (MLB) who arrived on scene about 10 minutes later.

When the Coast Guard crew arrived, they found the man clinging to his overturned kayak, which was tied off to the kayak of an accompanying friend.

The man was not wearing a life jacket and the hip waders he was wearing were filled with water, which added substantial weight and made it impossible for his friend to pull him out of the water.

“We had to pull him out of his hip waders to bring him aboard,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class John Laughy, the coxswain of the motor life boat. “It’s good that he stayed with his kayak after capsizing, but the Coast Guard recommends that kayakers keep their life jackets on at all times underway since kayaks can capsize quickly and unexpectedly.”

Once aboard, the boat crew transported the man, in stable condition but showing signs of hypothermia, to Dobbins Landing where EMS were waiting to take him to a local hospital for further treatment.

The water temperature was 54 degrees.

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