Coast Guard medically evacuates man from charter fishing boat

CLEVELAND – A boat crew from U.S. Coast Guard Station Erie, Pa., medically evacuated a 63-year-old man who was reportedly exhibiting signs of heat stroke from a charter fishing vessel at about 11 a.m. Thursday.

The master of the charter vessel requested assistance from the Coast Guard via VHF-radio Channel 16 at about 10:40 a.m. Station Erie immediately dispatched a boat crew aboard a 25-foot response boat.

“We were already onboard and refueling the boat,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class John Laughy, the coxswain of the 25-foot response boat.

“Since he was calling on the radio, we were able to hear it immediately and go right out and get him.”

All mariners are encouraged to invest in a VHF-FM marine-band radio as their primary means of communication on the water. VHF-FM marine-band radios are far more reliable than cells phones in the marine environment. VHF-FM Channel 16, the international hailing and distress channel, is monitored by the Coast Guard and state marine patrols around the clock. In addition, distress calls broadcast over VHF-FM Channel 16 will be heard by all mariners in the vicinity. Urgent safety information and weather reports for boaters are also broadcast over marine band radio channels.

The crew transferred the man safely to shore at Dobbins Landing, whereby awaiting EMS transported him to Hamot Medical Center.

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