Coast Guard rescues 4 from flooding boat in Lake St. Clair

9th Coast Guard District NewsCLEVELAND – The U.S. Coast Guard rescued four people after the recreational boat they were aboard began taking on water in Lake St Clair about a half mile off East 11 Mile Road in St. Clair Shores, Mich., Sunday afternoon.

The vessel’s operator used a cell phone to call 911 about 12:30 p.m., reporting engine failure caused waves to overcome the vessel, completely submerging the boat’s stern.

A boatcrew from Coast Guard Station St. Clair Shores immediately launched aboard a 33-foot Law Enforcement Special Purpose Craft and arrived on scene 10 minutes later. Once on scene, the Coast Guardsmen brought all four people aboard the SPC-LE, placed the recreational vessel in tow and brought it and the boaters to the Lac Sainte Claire Ramp in St. Clair Shores.

The Coast Guardsmen reported one of the boaters was showing signs of mild hypothermia but declined medical treatment. No other injuries were reported.

The Coast Guard boatcrew also reported only one of the boaters was able to don a life jacket after the boat began taking on water because the other three life jackets that were on board the vessel were floating away as a result of the flooding.

The Coast Guard urges all mariners to wear life jackets at all times while underway since it can be extremely difficult to locate and don a life jacket once an accident occurs.

The Coast Guard also encourages boaters to use a VHF-FM marine radio as a primary means of distress alerting on the water. Communication via VHF-FM radio provides superior alerting capabilities compared to cell phones. When a mayday is sent out via VHF-FM radio, it is a broadcast and not just a one-to-one communication; any nearby boaters can hear the distress call and offer immediate assistance.

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