Coast Guard crews rescues 1, assists 4 during two separate recreational boating emergencies

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CLEVELAND — Coast Guard crews rescued a woman and assisted four other people on Lake Michigan Sunday afternoon.

Just before 12:30 p.m. CDT, the owner of a vessel contacted a search-and-rescue controller at Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan, located in Milwaukee, and reported that his 24-foot vessel, with four people aboard, was taking on water about 16 nautical miles east of Milwaukee. He contacted the SAR controller over VHF-FM marine radio on channel 16, the international hailing and distress frequency.

Sector Lake Michigan SAR controllers used the direction-finding capabilities of Rescue 21 to determine a more accurate position of the distressed vessel, and found it to be about six nautical miles southeast of Sheboygan, Wis.

A boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Sheboygan launched aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium.

Upon arriving on scene, it was reported to the boatcrew that the vessel’s bilge pump had failed. The Station Sheboygan boatcrew assisted with a dewatering pump and towed the vessel to the Deland Boat Ramp in Sheboygan.

There were no reports of any injuries.

Just after 12:30 p.m. CDT, a good Samaritan reported to Sector Lake Michigan SAR controllers that a pregnant woman had fallen off her personal watercraft and was unable to climb back onboard near Washington Park in Michigan City, Ind.

The search-and-rescue controllers issued an urgent marine information broadcast, that informs mariners of a situation, asks them to keep a sharp lookout and report any sightings to the nearest Coast Guard unit, and to assist if possible.

A boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Michigan City launched aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small, rescued the woman and transported her to the station.

Once on shore, Michigan City Fire emergency medical services determined that the woman did not require any medical assistance.

There are no reports of any pollution and a friend of the woman retrieved the PWC.

“Cases like these illustrate the importance of having effective emergency communication devices onboard your vessel,” said Roger Rice, a command duty officer at the Coast Guard 9th District command center in Cleveland. “A marine radio is the fastest and most reliable way to contact the Coast Guard should an emergency arise.”

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