Coast Guard Rescues Sailor in Lake Michigan

 FRANKFORT, Mich – The Coast Guard rescued a vessel in distress in northern Lake Michigan today after the operator activated his Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon.

William S. Cooper was returning to Glenview, Ill. in a 33-foot sailing vessel Talisman after participating in a sailing race when his boat’s mast collapsed in heavy seas.

Cooper switched to motor power but he realized his vessel did not have enough fuel to make it to shore.

His radio was malfunctioning and his cell phone had no service, so he activated his EPIRB at approximately 6:40 a.m.

An HH65 dolphin rescue helicopter from Air Station Traverse City arrived on-scene at approximately 8:02 a.m.

Station Frankfort deployed a 30-foot utility boat to tow the vessel back to Frankfort.

The positive results of this incident are attributed to Cooper’s use of the 406MHz EPIRB, which reduced Coast Guard response time.

Boaters who have not already done so should consider purchasing a 406 MHz EBIRB. The 406 MHz EPIRB provides a more reliable and accurate beacon than the 121.5/243 MHz EPIRB which is being phased out. 121.5/243 MHz EPIRBs are no longer sold and satellite detection and processing of distress signals on those frequencies will terminate on 1 February 2009.

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