Coast Guard Terminates Unsage Voyage

MILWAUKEE – The U.S. Coast Guard terminated the voyage of a 55-foot Chris Craft vessel after it was determined it was transiting unsafely approximately 25 miles west of Holland, Mich., at about 6:30 a.m. today.

Coast Guard Ninth District Commander, Rear Adm. John E. Crowley, Jr., determined the vessel was taking on water this morning at a rate that would have made it unsafe for it to transit from Muskegon, Mich., to Chicago and determined the closest port of safe haven at Saugatuck, Mich.

The Coast Guard received the initial distress call over the radio at 10:48 p.m. Sunday. The sailor onboard the Chris Craft stated that he was concerned about the amount of water entering his vessel, but did not want Coast Guard assistance. Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan set up a communication schedule to monitor the situation. The vessel’s pumps had failed but were working again and were able to keep up with the water intrusion.

Several hours after setting up the communication schedule, the sailor did not respond to a radio check with the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard launched a Station Grand Haven 47-foot motor life boat and a Coast Guard Air Facility Muskegon HH65 helicopter to assist.

The Coast Guard helicopter arrived on scene and vectored in the crew of the 47-foot rescue boat. The Coast Guard noted that there was three feet of water in the vessel, entering through a split seam. After rewiring the dewatering pumps on board to keep them working, the operator had approximately six inches of water onboard with the pumps working continuously. The Coast Guard determined that the vessel could not safely transit to Chicago.

Coast Guard Stations Grand Haven and Holland combined efforts to escort the vessel safely to Saugatuck, Mich.

The Coast Guard would like to remind boaters to always conduct a thorough inspection of your boat prior to getting underway.

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