Woman with hand injury medically evacuated from Lake Michigan

9th Coast Guard District News
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich.— The Coast Guard medically evacuated a boater from a sailing vessel in Lake Michigan 20 nautical miles north of Charlevoix, Mich., Wednesday afternoon.

A search-and-rescue controller at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie was contacted at 3:05 p.m. on VHF-FM marine radio by the master of a 42-foot sailing vessel, reporting that a 57-year-old crewmember had the pinkie finger her right hand pinky finger crushed in a sailing winch.

According to the master of the sailing vessel, the crew had just completed the Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac, was low on fuel, and was under sail. The master doubted he would have enough fuel to bring the crewmember in on his engine alone, he said.

A rescue boatcrew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium launched from Coast Guard Station Charlevoix, with an EMT from local emergency medical services.

The rescue boatcrew took the woman aboard the RB-M and transported her to the Charlevoix Municipal Marina, where EMS further transported her to the Pine River Medical Center in Charlevoix.

“This case demonstrates the close working relationship between the Coast Guard and local emergency response assets,” said Lt. j. g. Derek Puzzuoli, public affairs officer at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie.

“The close relationship the Coast Guard maintains with our other emergency response partners allowed this injured woman to receive the quickest and best medical care possible before her medical situation worsened.”

The Coast Guard reminds boaters to carry emergency communication devices onboard their vessels. A VHF-FM marine radio is the best and easiest way to contact the Coast Guard in an emergency situation. Cell phones are good as well, but serve better as a secondary form of communication due to possibilities of coverage gaps. Flares and other emergency signaling devices are also important.

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