Coast Guard Station Calumet Harbor responds to mayday call, rescues boater

CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard responded to a mayday call, Friday afternoon, from a boater whose boat was taking on water just inside the break wall of Calumet Harbor in Chicago.

At about 4:45 p.m., the watchstander at Coast Guard Station Calumet Harbor heard a mayday call over VHF-FM radio channel 16, the international hailing and distress channel, from a boater whose boat was taking on water. A rescue crew aboard a 45-foot response boat immediately responded and arrived on scene within 5 minutes. Once on scene, the rescue crew used a dewatering pump to pump out a foot of standing water from the boat. The crew also attempted to plug the 3-inch hole in the hull of the wooden boat.

After about 30 minutes of dewatering, the rescue crew towed the vessel to Crowley’s Yacht Yard for an emergency haul out.

“This was a successful rescue because the boater was well prepared for an emergency situation,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Brad Houston, coxswain of the rescue boat. “He was wearing a life jacket, had a VHF-FM radio and knew how and when to reach out for help.”

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