Coast Guard saves 6 people from boat taking on water in Lake Erie

Great Lakes Coast Guard NewsCLEVELAND — The Coast Guard rescued six people from a boat taking on water, Tuesday morning, in Lake Erie two miles northeast of the West Harbor entrance.

At 7:42 a.m., a boatcrew, aboard a 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement boat from Coast Guard Station Marblehead, Ohio, received a mayday call via VHF-FM marine radio channel 16, stating their boat was taking on water with six people aboard. The six individuals were between the ages of 65 and 86.

The 33-foot SPC-LE boatcrew and a 47-foot Motor Life Boat boatcrew, both already aboard their rescue boats conducting regular maintenance and inspections at Station Marblehead, immediately launched from their mooring stations. The rescue boatcrews arrived on scene in minutes and found the 30-foot recreational boat with only nine inches of freeboard above water and two feet of water in the cabin.

The passengers aboard the vessel were trying to dewater the boat with buckets. The rescue crewmembers aboard the 33-foot SPC-LE assisted the distressed boaters off of the flooded boat and onto the rescue boat. Then, two rescue crewmembers boarded the flooding boat and started stuffing foam, from a damage control kit provided by the 47-foot MLB crew, into the engine space to slow down the incoming water. The crewmembers also started a P-6 dewatering pump to remove the existing water and keep up with the incoming water.

A boatcrew from Rescue Marine also responded to the mayday and assisted in dewatering and then towed the boat back to shore as the Coast Guard crewmembers continued to dewater. The Coast Guard 33-foot SPC-LE transported the rescued passengers to Shrocks Marina, in Lakeside Marblehead. At the marina, the boat was completely taken out of the water to prevent further flooding. This rescue took a little more than an hour from start to finish.

There were no medical concerns reported for any of the six individuals.

“The response actions and readiness of this rescue crew represented what the Coast Guard is all about and lead to a successful rescue of six people,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Kyle Love, the coxswain of the 33-foot SPC-LE.

“Had these boaters not had a VHF-FM marine radio and called for help, they would’ve certainly been in a more precarious position in the waters of Lake Erie,” said Love. “All six individuals assisted in this rescue by having a radio and properly wearing their life jackets.”

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