Coast Guard medically evacuates two mariners stranded at Detroit River Light

DETROIT – The crew of a U.S. Coast Guard HH-65C Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit medically evacuated two people after a Good Samaritan had found them clinging to the Detroit River Light, here, at approximately 2 p.m. Saturday.

The two people rescued were boating near the light when one of the men fell overboard. The other man went overboard when trying to assist the man who fell into the river first.

Only one of the men were wearing a life jacket.

Both men reported they were unable to reach their vessel and swam for the light. They also reported to have been clinging to the light for approximately three hours.

The crew of the HH-65C deployed a rescue swimmer, recovered both men then transported them to the Grosse Ile, Mich., airport, where they were transferred to local EMS.

Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Thunder Cape located the unmanned vessel and a 25-foot response boat from Coast Guard Station Toledo, Ohio, towed the vessel to shore.

“The fact that they even had a single life jacket between the two of them probably saved their lives,” said Lt. Tab Beach, Aircraft Commander, Air Station Detroit.

The law states a vessel must have a life jacket for everyone on board. The Coast Guard recommends you go one step further and always wear a life jacket. The time to locate and don a life jacket is not when you are already in distress.

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