Coast Guard rescues 2 boaters in Lake Erie

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CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard rescued two boaters in Lake Erie this afternoon in the vicinity of Fairport Harbor, Ohio.

Shortly after 3 p.m., a communications watchstander at Coast Guard Station Fairport in Green River, Ohio, received a call from a boater reporting two people in the water near a partially submerged boat. A rescue boat crew aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small from the station immediately launched to rescue the boaters.

Once on scene, the boat crew located two elderly men sitting in a completely submerged boat. The rescue crew brought both men aboard the RB-S and developed a plan to salvage the vessel. The crew was able to attach a line to the bow of the submerged boat with a skiff hook and then pulled the boat out of the water.

The men said the boat sank very quickly because it took several waves over the bow of the boat. They did not have life jackets on as they were swept away in the choppy see conditions.

The two men refused treatment from awaiting emergency medical services on shore.

“This rescue was successful because of a quick response, and these men were lucky because they had lost all their life jackets upon the boat sinking,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Bowders, the coxswain or small boat operator of the RB-S. “We remind all boaters to be aware of the sea conditions and what you and your boat can handle. Lake Erie changed from flat calm to choppy quite quickly today.”

The Coast Guard also reminds boaters it is always better to wear a life jacket because it is unlikely that you will be able to grab one when an emergency situation arises.

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