Coast Guard Air Station Detroit aircrew rescues 2 Lake Erie boaters

Great Lakes Coast Guard NewsCLEVELAND — The Coast Guard rescued two men in Lake Erie Sunday afternoon after their boat capsized in the vicinity of Ward’s Canal near Jerusalem Township, Ohio.

At 12:32 p.m., a search-and-rescue coordinator from Coast Guard Sector Detroit received the report of two men in the water from a 911 dispatcher from Lucas County, Ohio.

The Coast Guard did not receive an exact position of the capsized boat, so the search-and-rescue coordinator directed the launch of a rescue boatcrew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium, from Coast Guard Station Toledo, Ohio, and a rescue aircrew aboard an MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter, from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit.

The boatcrew located a debris field and continued searching. At 1:40 p.m., the rescue aircrew spotted two men wearing life jackets and clinging to the stern of their boat.

A rescue swimmer was lowered to the water and the two men were hoisted into the helicopter. They were taken to the Toledo Executive Airport where they transferred to awaiting emergency medical services who treated them for hypothermia.

“The two individuals did a lot to help themselves from this emergency situation by wearing their life jackets, staying together and staying with their boat,” said Lt. j.g. Joe Rozycki, the aircrew’s co-pilot. “It is much easier to spot the bottom of a capsized boat than to spot a person in the water.”

The Coast Guard reminds boaters to dress for the water temperature and not the air temperature.

The Coast Guard also recommends boaters to rely on a VHF marine radio when boating, because cell phones are not a reliable line of communication when on the water. In this case, communications were lost before a complete position was relayed to Lucas County 911.

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