Coast Guard rescues 5 people and a dog from Lake Erie near Geneva-On-The-Lake

9th Coast Guard District NewsCLEVELAND – A U.S. Coast Guard boatcrew from Station Ashtabula, Ohio, rescued five Auburn Township, Ohio, people and a dog after their recreational vessel sank in Lake Erie about six miles north of Geneva-On-The-Lake, Ohio, Tuesday afternoon.

The mariners used the 25-foot vessel’s on-board VHF-FM radio to call for help about 1 p.m., after the boat reportedly became swamped and they realized the bilge pumps would not be able to keep up with the flooding. Shortly after making the distress call, their radio stopped working.

A boatcrew in a 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement boat from Station Ashtabula immediately launched to assist. When the Coast Guard crew arrived on scene, they found a 29-year-old woman, 34-year-old man, 48-year-old man, two 52-year-old men and a dog in the water. All five people were wearing life jackets. The boat was completely submerged and no longer visible.

“We can never stress enough how vital radios and life jackets are to boaters’ safety,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Kyle Knitter, a communications watchstander at Station Ashtabula. “This case is a perfect example why. They were able to use their radio to notify us they were in trouble moments before the boat sank, and the life jackets bought our boatcrew necessary time while locating them.”

The Coast Guardsmen brought all five people and the dog aboard the SPC-LE and transported them to Geneva-On-The-Lake, where emergency medical technicians were waiting to evaluate them. The 62-year-old man was further transported to a local hospital for a possible bone fracture in his foot.

Weather in the area was reported to be two- to four-foot waves and 12- to 17-mph winds.

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