Coast Guard aids 5 passengers aboard sinking vessel in western Lake Erie

CLEVELAND — Coast Guard boat crews assisted five people on Lake Erie Saturday afternoon after their boat began taking on water near Catawba Island.

Shortly after 2 p.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Detroit received a mayday call on VHF-FM channel 16 from a passenger aboard a 30-foot pleasure craft, with four other people aboard, stating they were taking on water near the west side of Catawba Island in western Lake Erie.

Boat crews from Coast Guard Station Marblehead, Ohio, aboard 45-foot response boats, were diverted from patrols to respond.

One boat crew took all five people aboard their vessel, while the other crew began dewatering the pleasure craft.

The pleasure craft was safely towed to Catawba Island State Park.

During this Memorial Day weekend, the Coast Guard reminds mariners to ensure they have the proper safety and communications equipment aboard their vessels prior to leaving the dock, and that everything is in working condition. VHF-FM radios, for example, are the best way to call for help in the event of an emergency. In addition to the Coast Guard receiving your distress call, other mariners in the area who are tuned to Channel 16 can also hear your call for assistance.

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