Coast Guard rescues two men from capsized boat

FRANKFORT, Mich. – U.S. Coast Guard Station Frankfort rescued two males from a capsized 21-foot Bayliner two miles southwest of the Frankfort pierheads at approximately 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

“They were operating with the trolling motor when a wave struck their beam and rolled them over,” said Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Ryan Raska. “The operator was standing on the hull in his lifejacket directing us to his location with his cell phone. He was able to keep his phone dry enough to dial 911.”

Raska and his 30-foot utility boat (UTM) crew arrived on scene and brought aboard the operator and the other male clinging to the hull in the water for safe transport back to the station.

Emergency Medical Services treated the pair for mild hypothermia; there were no other injuries or medical concerns.

Initially, the two men were fishing near the pierheads when the engine failed, forcing them to rely on trolling propulsion.

The Coast Guard requires all recreational boats to carry one wearable PFD (Type I, II, III or Type V PFD) for each person aboard. Any boat 16ft and longer (except canoes and kayaks) must also carry one throwable PFD (Type IV PFD).

The law states you must have a PFD on board, but the Coast Guard recommends everyone to wear a PFD at all times when boating. It is much more difficult to locate, access or don a PFD at the moment the accident occurs.

Signaling Devices are another means of alerting the Coast Guard, local marine patrol or nearby boaters that you are in distress.

Day and night visible flares, cell phones, a signal mirror, and/or a whistle, airhorn or sound producing device should be used to alert others that you are in distress.

Information on signaling devices can be found at http://www.uscgboating.org/safety/fedreqs/equ_vds.htm

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