Coast Guard rescues 2 on personal watercraft in Fairport Harbor

Great Lakes Coast Guard NewsCLEVELAND — The Coast Guard rescued two teenagers after the personal watercraft they were on became disabled and partially sank in Fairport Harbor, Fairport, Ohio, Saturday.

The father of the two teens called Fairport 911 emergency dispatch after the teens did not return on the personal water craft at the time they were supposed to.

A communications watchstander at Coast Guard Station Fairport, Ohio, received notification at 9 p.m. from Fairport Harbor Police Department reporting two teenagers on a personal watercraft were overdue 35 minutes to meet back with family.

A rescue boatcrew from Station Fairport launched aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small.

The watchstander at Station Fairport broadcast an urgent marine information broadcast over VFH-FM marine radio.

While en route to the last known position of the two teens, the RB-S boatcrew saw a red flare in the sky and continued in that direction until locating the two teens in the water wearing life jackets near the personal watercraft.

The personal watercraft had become disabled and partially sank forcing, the teens into the water.

The boatcrew transferred the teens aboard the RB-S and towed the personal watercraft to the Fairport Harbor Port Authority.

“The Coast Guard was able to rescue these teens because of the quickness of their family to call 911 when the teens took longer than anticipated and because the teens helped us find them by shooting the flare into the air,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Ellinger, officer-of-the day at Station Fairport.

“It was good that they had all life-saving equipment aboard and were wearing life jackets.”

The Coast Guard reminds personal watercraft operators of some basic safety tips before their next outing:

File a float plan. This includes telling family or friends where you are going, what you will be doing and how long you expect to be gone.

  • Wear a life jacket. Coast Guard regulations require that all people on a personal watercraft wear a life jacket. There are life jackets designed specifically for personal watercraft. Buy one that fits well and always wear it while you paddle.
  • Be aware of weather conditions and water temperature. Prepare for changes in weather and always remember to dress for the water not the weather.
  • Stay hydrated. Bring plenty of water and food in case of emergencies.
  • Seek qualified instruction to learn proper personal watercraft techniques, water safety and basic first aid.
  • Bring a VHF-FM radio. A cell phone is a good backup plan but will sometimes not get reception in certain areas.


Click here for information about float plans.

For more information about boating safety, go to

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