Coast Guard rescues 4 from capsized vessel at mouth of Niagara River

9th Coast Guard District News
CLEVELAND – A U.S. Coast Guard rescue crew plucked four boaters out of the water after their 22-foot pleasure craft capsized at the mouth of the Niagara River near Lewiston, N.Y., Saturday morning.

Crewmembers from Coast Guard Station Niagara, in Youngstown, N.Y., were contacted at 6:50 a.m. by the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office who had received a cell phone call from someone on a vessel that capsized with four people aboard.

A Station Niagara crew got underway aboard a 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement (SPC-LE) boat at 7 a.m. Air Station Detroit readied a crew to launch an MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter, but it was stood down once Station Niagara’s SPC-LE crew arrived at the scene, about two miles east of the mouth of the Niagara River.

Once on scene, the rescue boatcrew pulled all four boaters from the water and transported them ashore. They were all wearing lifejackets.

Even with the lifejackets on, all four people were pretty exhausted by the time the rescue crew got on scene, said Petty Officer 2nd Class Josh Pearson, who was on the Station Niagara SPC-LE during the case.

“If they weren’t wearing their lifejackets, they may not have made it,” Pearson said.

During the transit, Coast Guard crewmembers noticed that two of the boaters were showing signs of hypothermia. At the time of the response, the water temperature was 63 degrees Fahrenheit and air temperature was 60 F.

Once they were safely moored at Station Niagara,all four boaters were checked by local EMS, and one of them was reportedly taken to Mount St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston as a precaution.

The boat owner has coordinated with commercial salvage to remove his vessel, which remains partially submerged. The Coast Guard will continue to issue a safety broadcast on marine radio, alerting vessels of the potential hazard to navigation, until it can be safely removed.

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