Coast Guard, Royal Canadian Air Force rescue 3 kayakers after overnight search

d9
CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Air Force rescued three kayakers, Friday morning, from Green Bay, near Whaleback Shoal, about ten miles north of Peninsula State Park in Wisconsin.

The missing kayakers were spotted by a Royal Canadian Air Force search-and-rescue crew aboard a Hercules aircraft launched by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, Trenton, Ontario, who reported their location to the U.S. Coast Guard. A rescue air crew aboard a Dolphin rescue helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Michigan, hoisted the three people into the helicopter and transported them to emergency personnel waiting at the Menominee-Marinette Twin County Airport in Menominee, Michigan.

A Coast Guard Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Traverse City, Mich., prepares to rescue three kayakers from Whaleback Shoal in Green Bay, July 11, 2014. The U.S. Coast Guard, along with the Royal Canadian Air Force and several local agencies assisted in the search and rescue of three kayakers reported missing on July 10, 2014. U. S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of the Royal Canadian Air Force

A Coast Guard Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Traverse City, Mich., prepares to rescue three kayakers from Whaleback Shoal in Green Bay, July 11, 2014. U. S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of the Royal Canadian Air Force

At about 7:30 p.m., Thursday, a search-and-rescue coordinator at Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan in Milwaukee, received notification from a Door County, Michigan, 911 operator reporting the woman and two boys missing on their kayaks near Peninsula State Park.

The operator reported that the woman and two boys had rented kayaks from a water recreational craft rental company operating in Peninsula State Park and were supposed to return the kayaks by 4 p.m. When they did not return, the rental operator sent personnel to look for the three and called 911. The woman reportedly did not take her cell phone on the trip because she did not have a water-proof case for it. All three kayakers were wearing life jackets.

“These kayakers were very lucky to survive this emergency situation because they did not have a way to let anyone know they were in trouble,” said Karl Willis, with the Coast Guard 9th District Command Center in Cleveland.

“A personal locator beacon would have immediately alerted us to their distress and directed our rescue crews to the scene within minutes. Fortunately, the rental operator called 911 and we had the support of our Canadian partners. Without those elements, this case might have ended in tragedy.”

The search-and-rescue coordinator issued an urgent marine information broadcast over VHF marine radio channel 16, that advises other boaters of the situation, asks them to keep a sharp lookout, to report all sightings to the nearest Coast Guard unit and to assist if possible.

A rescue boat crew aboard a 25-foot response boat launched from Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, and a rescue air crew launched aboard a Dolphin rescue helicopter from Coast Guard Air Facility Waukegan, Illinois.

Other Coast Guard rescue crews searching were two rescue boat crews from Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay aboard 45-foot response boats, and rescue air crews from Air Station Traverse City and Air Facility Muskegon aboard Dolphin helicopters.

Also searching were rescue crews from: Door County Sherriff’s Office; Sturgeon Bay Fire Department; Ephraim, Wisconsin, Fire Department; and Michigan’s and Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources.

“Search and rescue missions always stand the best chance of success when partners work together,” said Maj. Martin Zimmer, officer in charge of Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, Trenton.

“Fortunately, the missing individuals stayed close to their boat, which made it much easier for our air crew to spot them in the water. We’re always glad to lend assistance to our American neighbors when it’s needed and know that they will do the same.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that wind speed in the area was up to 14 knots, which is why the kayakers were pushed away from the shore.

The Coast Guard reminds all boaters to remain vigilant while on the water by being aware of your surroundings, including the weather conditions. Wear your life jackets at all times and be prepared for emergency situations by having signaling and working communication devices on board.

Related Posts

Comments are closed.