Coast Guard rescues 5 from boat taking on water in Lake Ontario

Great Lakes Coast Guard NewsCLEVELAND — The Coast Guard rescued five people from a boat taking on water in the vicinity of Mexico Bay, N.Y., in Lake Ontario, early Tuesday afternoon.

At 12:57 p.m., a search-and-rescue coordinator, from Coast Guard Sector Buffalo, N.Y., received a call for assistance via VHF-FM marine radio channel 16, from a boater reporting his boat taking on water with three adults and two children aboard. The SAR coordinator issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of a rescue boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Oswego, N.Y.

A Good Samaritan responded to the UMIB, but the distressed boat operator said the situation had been stabilized. A rescue boatcrew, aboard a Station Oswego 25-foot Response Boat-Small, arrived next and removed all five people from the boat. The rescue boatcrew connected a towline to the boat and towed it to Salmon River Marina.

There were no injuries or medical concerns reported.

“It is important to always contact the Coast Guard at the first sign of an emergency situation,” said Paul Angelillo, a SAR coordinator at Sector Buffalo. “This particular situation was quickly stabilized, but boaters should never underestimate an emergency situation.”

No matter how warm the water or air temperature may be, the risks of hypothermia still exist, so boaters need to continue to be cautious of the risks of drowning and hypothermia.

In fact, someone in cold water may have only minutes of functional movement before he loses the effective use of fingers, arms and legs. At this point, a victim who is not wearing a life jacket will likely drown because he can no longer tread water and remain afloat.

Even with a Coast Guard-approved life jacket, hypothermia is a threat to survival once someone is exposed to cold water. The body may lose heat 25 times faster in cold water than in cold air. When recreating outdoors, mariners should dress for the water temperature — not the air temperature.

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