Coast Guard rescues 2 in Lake Michigan near Wilmette, Ill.

CLEVELAND — A rescue boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Wilmette Harbor, Ill., rescued two 14-year-old girls who had reportedly been ejected from a personal watercraft in Lake Michigan, Monday evening.

Both were wearing life jackets. Their names are not being released.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan, in Milwaukee, were notified that the two girls were overdue at about 4 p.m., CDT. The boatcrew from Station Wilmette Harbor launched aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small, and an aircrew from Coast Guard Air Facility Waukegan, Ill., launched aboard an MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter.

The aircrew found the two girls floating near their overturned personal watercraft. The aircrew was able to vector in the boatcrew, who safely removed them from the water. They had been in the water for about one hour.

Life jackets save lives. Drowning is the leading cause of death in boating-related mishaps. Most boating fatalities are the result of unexpected falls overboard, either while a vessel is underway or drifting. Of those who drown, 90 percent are not wearing a life jacket. Wearing a life jacket helps ensure a boater stays afloat so they can either self-rescue or be rescued by other boaters in the area.

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