Coast Guard rescues two men near Ashtabula

9th Coast Guard District NewsCLEVELAND—A rescue boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Ashtabula, Ohio, rescued two men in Lake Erie after their 27-foot pleasure craft capsized near the mouth of the Ashtabula River, Thursday evening.

The two men, ages 33 and 51, shot a red flare into the air, and an individual on shore notified the Coast Guard at about 8:45 p.m. Their names are not being released.

Both men were wearing life jackets.

The boatcrew from Station Ashtabula launched aboard a 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement and arrived on scene at about 9 p.m. Both men were brought aboard the SPC-LE and confirmed that they had shot the flare after capsizing. They were transferred to emergency medical services in good condition.

At the time of the incident, on-scene weather conditions were reported to be 15-knot winds and 2-foot waves, with a water temperature of 78 degrees.

The vessel, which reportedly had about 40 gallons of gasoline onboard, is scheduled to be removed from the water by commercial salvage. Coast Guardsmen from Marine Safety Unit Cleveland will confirm that no pollutants have entered the water.

The Coast Guard encourages all mariners to carry visual distress signals while on the water. In accordance with federal law, recreational boats 16 feet and longer are required to carry visual distress signals such as flares, smoke signals or non-pyrotechnic devices, and vessels 12 meters or longer are required to carry sound-producing devices such as whistles, bells and gongs. State and local laws may require further safety equipment.

In this case, the mariners exhibited appropriate use of emergency distress signaling. However, too often, boaters fire off flares for non-emergency situations, such as for entertainment purposes or to dispose of expired flares. Firing flares in non-emergency situations can result in unnecessary searches by rescue crews, risking lives and costing taxpayers hundreds or thousands of dollars. Contact your local Coast Guard unit, marina or fire department to inquire about appropriate disposal of expired flares.

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