Coast Guard rescues man after sailboat capsizes in Lake Michigan

9th Coast Guard District NewsCLEVELAND — A U.S. Coast Guard boatcrew from Station Muskegon, Mich., rescued a man after his sailboat capsized in Lake Michigan about three miles from White Lake Channel Saturday afternoon.

A 911 dispatcher notified Coast Guardsmen at Station Muskegon after the man’s wife called to report she saw his 19-foot sailboat capsize in 4-to-6-foot waves and never saw it re-right.

Station Muskegon immediately launched a boatcrew aboard a 41-foot Utility Boat. An aircrew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from Air Facility Muskegon also launched. The pilots first spotted the man, holding onto the capsized vessel, and directed the crews aboard the Station Muskegon UTB and a Montague fireboat that also responded toward him.

When the UTB crew arrived on scene, the Coast Guardsmen pulled the man out of the water. He was wearing a life jacket. They later reported he was showing signs of mild hypothermia. They transferred him to the fireboat crew, who further transported him to shore through White Lake, where the water was calmer.

The Coast Guard recommends all mariners wear life jackets at all times while underway since many accidents occur quickly and unexpectedly. It is extremely difficult to locate and don a life jacket the moment an accident occurs.

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