Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, local responders across Great Lakes rescue 7, assist 16 during busy start to weekend

CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary and local responders teamed up to rescue seven boaters and assist 16 others across the Great Lakes Friday night and early Saturday morning, during a busy start to the weekend.

The Coast Guard is not releasing the names of the boaters rescued and assisted, and there is no Coast Guard imagery for any of the cases.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary responded to, and assisted, two separate vessels in Lake St. Clair near St. Clair Shores, Michigan. The first assist occurred about 8 p.m. Friday, when an auxiliary crew towed a disabled jet ski with one person aboard to the St. Clair Metro Park boat launch. Another auxiliary crew responded to, and assisted, two passengers aboard a 15-foot boat and towed them to the same boat launch.

Also at about 8 p.m., a rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station St. Clair Shores responded to a collision between a 22-foot boat and a 33-foot boat near Gross Pointe Yacht Club. The collision caused the 22-foot boat, with two people aboard, to take on water. The 33-foot vessel, with nine people aboard, received only cosmetic damage. The two people aboard the smaller boat received minor bruises and were removed by the Coast Guard and then transferred to the Wayne County Sheriff’s boat. The boat was salvaged and towed to the pier by Michigan Marine Salvage. Nobody was injured on the larger vessel. The Wayne County Sherriff’s Department conducted an alcohol screening on the operator of the 33-foot boat, but the results of the screening are unknown.

At about 9 p.m., a rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, rescued five people from a boat taking on water 2 miles east of the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal. The boat crew dewatered the 19-foot boat with a portable P-6 pump and towed the boat to Madeline Marina.

At about 10 p.m., a rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Rochester, New York, towed a boater aboard a disabled 16-foot vessel that was drifting toward the rocks on the Genesee River near Rochester.

At about midnight, an air crew from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit located an overdue boat with two people onboard in Lake St. Clair. The air crew vectored in a Coast Guard boat crew from Station St. Clair Shores and a marine unit from St. Clair County to assist the boaters. The marine unit from St. Clair County towed the disabled vessel to the boat ramp on Strawberry Island.

At about 1 a.m. Saturday, a rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Manistee, Michigan, conducted a medevac of a 48-year-old male off of the motor vessel Wilfred Sykes. The boat crew and a certified EMT aboard met the motor vessel at the Manistee Pierheads, brought the ill man onto the Coast Guard boat and then transported him to Coast Guard Station Manistee. He was transferred to awaiting emergency medical services and taken to West Memorial Hospital for treatment and observation.

The Coast Guard reminds all boaters to remain vigilant while on the water by being aware of your surroundings and other boaters around you. Wear your life jackets at all times and be prepared for emergency situations by having signaling and working communication devices on board.

The Coast Guard also is reminding boaters they can expect to see an increase in patrols by Coast Guard crews and other law enforcement agencies this weekend in support of Operation Dry Water, a national campaign to spread awareness about the dangers of boating under the influence and to remove impaired boaters from the waterways. Persons who are found boating under the influence can expect to incur severe penalties ranging from fines, jail time, and loss of boating privileges.

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