CHICAGO — The Coast Guard is reminding boaters to take precautions and to be prepared with the proper training and safety equipment after a recreational boat with three passengers hit a breakwall off Calumet Park in Lake Michigan, Saturday night.
At about 8 a.m. Sunday, Coast Guard Station Calumet Harbor received a report from a good Samaritan, via Chicago 911, of a 22-foot recreational boat aground on the Calumet Harbor breakwall.
A Coast Guard rescue crew was diverted to the scene and found the boat on the breakwall and the three passengers, two women and one man, still on the breakwall, in good condition with no injuries.
The three people were returning from viewing Saturday night’s fireworks at Navy Pier and were following the shoreline when they allided with the breakwall. The three people were able to exit the boat and walk up on to the breakwall. Neither person had an operable cell phone, nor did the boat have a marine radio, to call for help. Officers from the Chicago Police Department arrived and assisted the three people off of the breakwall.
During a post-search and rescue boarding by the Coast Guard, the owner/operator was cited for no registration, no fire extinguisher and no emergency flares.
Personnel from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago are working with the owner to ensure that the boat will be salvaged. There is no report of any pollution.
The Coast Guard reminds boaters to be familiar with their surrounds and to be sure they have proper, operable emergency equipment and safety gear before getting underway, such as fire extinguishers, and flares. Also, be sure to wear life jackets at all times. Boaters are required to have a life jacket for each passenger on board their vessel.
Boaters can ensure their vessel is up to date with the required equipment by getting a free vessel safety check by members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Contact your nearest marina for more information or visit the Coast Guard Auxiliary website at http://cgaux.org/
“We recommend that boaters also have a marine radio on board their boat in order to call for help in an emergency,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jacob Borges, watchstander at Coast Guard Station Calumet Harbor. “Today’s case is a perfect example how one can not, and should not, rely on a cell phone to call for help. Batteries can go dead and will not work if you’re offshore and out of range of a cell tower.”