Coast Guard assists two men near Buffalo, N.Y.

CLEVELAND – An ice rescue team from Coast Guard Station Buffalo, N.Y., assisted two men after their canoe was beset by ice near Times Beach, in Buffalo Outer Harbor, Saturday afternoon.

Strangely, the reporting source was a Coast Guard civilian employee on his way in to work.

Paul Angelillo, a watchstander at the Coast Guard Sector Buffalo Command Center was driving to the sector at about 4:30 p.m., when he saw the two men attempting to paddle into a boat slip.

“I was on my way into work and I saw the two guys trying to get their boat into the slip,” said Angelillo, a search and rescue controller at Sector Buffalo. “There was nowhere for them to go, so I called the command center, and they dispatched the station’s ice rescue team to see if they needed help.”

Personnel from Station Buffalo arrived on scene and deployed their ice-rescue skiff. They assisted the two men onto the breakwall. They were not in possession of any safety or communications equipment.

“They didn’t have any gear with them,” said Angelillo. “There were a bunch of people around and nobody thought to call 911.”

Neither man required medical assistance.

The Coast Guard recommends that all mariners carry a marine band radio while out on the water.

A marine band radio is the best way to contact the Coast Guard or marine response agencies if you are in distress on the water. When a Mayday is sent out via VHF-FM radio it is a broadcast, not just a one-to-one party distress call; any nearby boaters can hear the distress call and offer immediate assistance. Channel 16 is the Coast Guard distress channel and should be used for emergencies only.

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