Coast Guard Reserve, active-duty rescue crews respond to boat fire on Lake Erie

Great Lakes Coast Guard NewsCLEVELAND — Coast Guard boatcrews rescued two adult men from a boat that caught fire on Lake Erie off the shore of West Harbor, Ohio, Wednesday afternoon.

At 3:27 p.m., a search-and-rescue-coordinator at Coast Guard Sector Detroit received a call from a good Samaritan boater who reported that a boat was on fire with two people aboard. The good Samaritan called the Coast Guard via cell phone.

A boatcrew, from Coast Guard Port Security Unit 309, located in Port Clinton, was in the vicinity conducting routine training along with two other unit boatcrews and responded to the scene within five minutes of receiving the call. The rescue boatcrew assisted the two men off the 38-foot pleasure craft and transferred them to shore.  Once on shore, the two rescued boaters declined medical attention.

Two rescue boatcrews, aboard 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement boats from Coast Guard Station Marblehead arrived on scene a short time later, but the fire had already burned itself out. One of the Station Marblehead boatcrews carried four members of the Catawba Fire Department, who ensured the fire was out and assessed the situation.

A commercial salvage company towed the boat to Gem Beach Marina and was escorted there by one of the Station Marblehead boatcrews.

“While search and rescue may not be our main mission as a port security unit, we always stand ready as Coast Guardsmen to respond to any of the Coast Guard’s 11 statutory missions,” said Cmdr. Gerald Nauert, commanding officer of Port Security Unit 309.

PSU 309 recently returned home from a three-month deployment to the Middle East, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.


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