Coast Guard rescues 2 men reported overdue from capsized sailboat in Lake Ontario

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CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard rescued two men from Lake Ontario after they were reported to be overdue late Saturday.

Just after 10 p.m., a woman reported to Coast Guard Station Oswego, N.Y., that her son was overdue returning from a roundtrip voyage from Little Sodus Bay to Oswego in his 15-foot sailboat. She had last spoken with her son around 2:30 p.m., when he was at Ford Shoal and was headed to Little Sodus Bay. She reported that he expected to be there by 4 p.m.

Coast Guard Sector Buffalo, N.Y., contacted the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office to confirm that the vessel had not arrived and determined the owner’s car was still in the parking lot.

Sector Buffalo issued an urgent marine information broadcast advising mariners of the situation and asking them to keep a sharp lookout, report any sightings to the nearest Coast Guard unit and assist if possible.

A boatcrew from Station Oswego launched aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small and Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Trenton, Ontario, launched a CH-146 Griffon helicopter to assist in the search.

The Station Oswego boatcrew commenced their search from Ford Shoal toward Little Sodus Bay and observed a flashlight from a capsized sailboat with two men aboard.

Both men were wearing lifejackets and were confirmed to be the people reported overdue.

Station Oswego took both men to Fairhaven Marina where they were evaluated by emergency medical services and found to be suffering from dehydration and hypothermia.

The men stated that their vessel had capsized around 4 p.m., and they had tried unsuccessfully to re-right the vessel several times.

“This case illustrates the importance of filing a proper float plan with a trusted shore-side source,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Janard Langsford, a search-and-rescue controller at Coast Guard Sector Buffalo. “If someone knows where you’re going and when you plan to return, they’ll be able to call for help if you don’t arrive on time. That can be the difference between a fun day on the water and a tragedy.”

The Coast Guard also strongly encourages mariners to carry emergency communication equipment, such as a VHF-FM marine radio and a cell phone. Radios are the most reliable and effective to contact the Coast Guard in the event of an emergency.

The owner is working to organize a salvage plan and there are no reports of pollution.

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