Coast Guard assists 2 boaters in distress in Lake Erie

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CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard assisted two distressed boaters in Lake Erie Wednesday morning three miles north of Fairport Harbor, Ohio.

Shortly before 11 a.m., a good Samaritan passing by a boat taking on water contacted a search-and-rescue controller at Coast Guard Sector Buffalo, N.Y., via VHF-FM marine radio to report the boaters in distress. The SAR controller used Rescue 21, the Coast Guard’s advanced command, control and direction-finding communications system, to get a fixed location of the 32-foot boat from the good Samaritan’s radio call.

An air crew aboard an MH-65C Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit, which was training in the vicinity of Lorain, Ohio, immediately diverted to the scene along with a rescue boat crew aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small from Coast Guard Station Fairport Harbor. The boat crew arrived on scene at 11:09 a.m. and used towels to slow the flooding enough for the onboard bilge pumps to keep up with the water coming in.

“The rescue went very well with good communication among all the people involved,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric Riley, the small boat operator of the rescue boat. “It was good to get out on a case where we had to use most of our skill set.”

Once the situation was stabilized, the air crew was released from the operation and returned to training.

The RB-S crew towed the boat to the Mentor Lagoons Marina in Mentor, Ohio, where it was immediately hauled out of the water.

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