Coast Guard rescues 2 adults, 1 child aboard sinking boat in Lake Erie

Great Lakes Coast Guard NewsCLEVELAND — The Coast Guard rescued three people from a boat taking on water, early Thursday afternoon, in the vicinity of the Peace Bridge that connects Buffalo, N.Y., to Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada.

At 12:45 p.m., a radio watchstander from Coast Guard Station Buffalo received a phone call from a woman who stated her boat was sinking and she needed immediate assistance. The watchstander immediately sounded the search-and-rescue alarm and kept the woman on the phone.

A rescue boatcrew from Station Buffalo immediately launched aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small. The woman in distress was unable to give an exact location due to her stress level, but mentioned she had floated under the Peace Bridge recently.

The four-man rescue boatcrew located the distressed boaters and found the boat half sunk. Once on scene, the boatcrew assisted two adults and one child off the sinking boat.

The rescue crew then placed a P-6 dewatering pump aboard the sinking vessel and started the dewatering process. They also connected a towline to the vessel and towed it to Harry’s Harbor Place Marina in Buffalo. The boaters were delivered to shore at 1:30 p.m.

“The quick actions and experience of the rescue boatcrew not only saved three people’s lives but also saved the boat,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Thomas D’Amore, coxswain of the 25-foot RB-S and executive petty officer of Station Buffalo. “The professionalism and calmness of the watchstander who took the call and stayed on the line with the distressed boater, during the entire operation, was instrumental in the successful outcome of this case.”

No injuries were reported.

All three rescued boaters were wearing their life jackets. The Coast Guard reminds all boaters to always wear a life jacket while boating. The Coast Guard also reminds boaters to have a VHF-FM marine radio aboard their boat in case of an emergency. In this case, the use of a cell phone allowed the distressed boaters to make a connection to the Coast Guard, but the use of a VHF-FM marine radio may have helped locate the person in distress faster by the use of new search-and-rescue technology called Rescue 21.

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