Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary rescue 17 people from Lake St. Clair

USCG File Photo

DETROIT — The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 17 people during two separate cases on Lake St. Clair, Friday.

Shortly before 7 p.m. local time, the Coast Guard Sector Detroit command center received a call, via VHF Marine Radio Channel 16, from the owner and operator of a 39-foot vessel with 15 people aboard stating that they were taking on water approximately four and one-half miles offshore from the Grosse Point Yacht Club.

The command center watchstander issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast, launched a rescue crew aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small from Coast Guard Station St. Clair Shores and diverted an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Detroit that was in the area returning from another case.

The crew from Station St. Clair Shores arrived on scene within 10 minutes and began dewatering the boat using a dewatering pump. A vessel from Tow Boat US also arrived on scene and began dewatering with two additional pumps.

The Coast Guard crew then began removing the individuals, all adults, and transferred them back to the Coast Guard Station in three separate trips, which was completed in about 40 minutes. All of the persons were wearing life jackets.

There were no injuries. A second Tow Boat US vessel towed the damaged vessel back to shore.

The owner stated that he may have struck an object earlier in the day resulting in a small hole allowing water to enter the vessel.

In another incident Friday night, the crew aboard a Coast Guard Auxiliary boat that was involved in the search for a missing person on Lake St. Clair witnessed two people fall into the water when their boat capsized.

The Auxiliary crew diverted to the location, rescued the two people and towed the vessel back to shore. There were no injuries.

The Coast Guard reminds boat owners that they are required to have a wearable, proper-fitting life jacket life jacket for each person aboard your vessel, and strongly recommends all passengers wear their life jackets at all times while on a boat. Accidents that can cause a person to fall into the water are never planned. Wearing a life jacket can prevent a person from becoming completely submerged during a fall into cold water, and help prevent involuntarily inhaling water from the natural gasp reflex, which can cause drowning.

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