U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards assist with boat taking on water

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – The U.S. Coast Guard and the Canadian Coast Guard rescued a 57-year-old male and a 54-year-old female from a 28-foot pleasure craft that was taking on water approximately six miles north of the Niagara River, Sunday, at approximately 11 a.m.

“The engine compartment was full; there was water up to the deck. We and the Canadians both had dewatering pumps on board while towing it back to shore, which took about an hour and 45 minutes,” said Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Jessica Jones.

A Coast Guard Station Niagara 25-foot small response boat (RB-S) crew and a Canadian Coast Guard Mark VII 23-foot small boat crew tied off to each side of the 28-footer and towed the it back to shore as the pumps removed the water.

Station Niagara brought aboard the man and woman on the 25-footer and transported them back to shore safely. Both were wearing life jackets and sustained no injuries.

The Niagara Falls, Ontario, couple contacted the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard on channel 16 after a two-foot gash in the hull caused the boat to take on water.

Th Coast Guard encourages all mariners to invest in a VHF-FM radio as their primary means of distress alerting on the water. Communication via VHF-FM radio provides superior alerting capabilities over cellular phones.

When a Mayday is sent out via VHF-FM radio it is a broadcast, not just one party is receiving the distress call; any nearby boaters can hear the distress call and offer immediate assistance.

Additionally, 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 16 feet 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 you wear your PFD at all times when boating. It is much more difficult to locate, access or don a PFD at the moment the accident occurs

Additional information on life jackets (PFDs), can be found at http://www.uscgboating.org/safety/fedreqs/equ_pfd.htm.

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